Bulldog boys beat defending CIF champs in league soccer opener
By Joe Naiman
Ramona defeated Rancho Bernardo to give the Bulldogs their first league win since the 2009-10 season when Ramona was in the Valley League. Later in the week they lost to Westview.
During last year’s soccer season Ramona High School’s boys had a 0-9-1 Palomar League record while Rancho Bernardo won the CIF Division I championship and Westview entered the Division II playoffs as the top seed.
“It was a huge win for us,” Coach Michael Jordan said of the Bulldog’s victory last Tuesday. “We outshot them in the game, and we played very well.”
Scoring in the game at Ramona began with a Rancho Bernardo goal midway in the first half. Late in the half Alejandro Romero made a pass.
“Alan Valdez went right past him,” Jordan said.
Valdez’s role was to convince the Bronco defenders that he was involved in the play. In reality Valdez let the ball go by him and to Adam Dolan, who took a left-footed shot to tie the score.
The game remained a 1-1 contest for much of the second half.
“We continued to push,” Jordan said.
With about 15 minutes remaining, Julio Velasco passed to Dolan, whose first shot was blocked.
“Adam stayed with the play,” Jordan said.
Dolan recovered the rebound and took another shot, which closed out the scoring in Ramona’s 2-1 victory.
“Defense played great,” Jordan said.
The Bulldogs had a Jan. 19 home match with the Wolverines.
“We refocused against Westview, and we had to play differently,” Jordan said.
Jordan had to change formations against Westview in the early minutes of the game.
“They had a striker on the team who’s just phenomenal,” Jordan said.
That striker took three shots in the first five minutes, forcing Jordan to switch from a 4-4-2 formation with four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards to a 4-4-1 formation with Connor Maruna marking the striker.
“Connor shut the kid down and just really changed the dynamics of the game,” Jordan said.
By the time the final whistle blew, Ramona and Westview had each taken seven shots on goal. Although both goals in the 2-0 game were scored by Wolverine players, the first half was scoreless. Approximately 10 minutes into the second half, Westview scored on a corner kick.
The deficit forced Ramona to return to a 4-4-2 formation with about 15 minutes left. With about 10 minutes remaining, Westview recovered a loose ball near the Ramona goal and finalized the scoring result.
“I think the boys played well,” Jordan said.
The split of the two games gave the Bulldogs a season record of 8-6-2 along with the 1-1 league mark.
Ramona hosts Torrey Pines in Thursday’s game.
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