Ramona High School’s boys soccer team lost to Escondido in a Dec. 18 match before tying El Camino in a Dec. 19 game and playing the Bulldog alumni to a tie in a Dec. 20 fundraising activity.
The loss and the tie against CIF opposition gave Ramona a 3-4-1 record for the season.
The game against Escondido was originally scheduled to be played Dec. 17 at Escondido, but heavy rainfall forced the game to be moved to Ramona and played the following day. The teams were scoreless for the first 20 minutes.
“The first 20 minutes was brilliant,” said Coach Michael Jordan.
The Cougars scored three goals in the last 20 minutes of the first half.
“I just said to the boys: ‘We need to make some corrections’,” Jordan said of his halftime talk. “The second half we played much better.”
Ramona’s only goal came on a second-half penalty kick. David Downing had dribbled the ball downfield and had reached the penalty box before being tackled. Michael Quilo put the penalty kick into the net.
“It’s just kind of letting down, not keeping our focus,” Jordan said of the loss.
The Bulldogs hosted El Camino the following day and played the Wildcats to a 1-1 tie.
“We were definitely the better team and just couldn’t put anything into the back of the net,” Jordan said.
El Camino’s goal was scored late in the first half, but the Bulldogs weren’t deterred by the second-half deficit. “Just kept pushing and I made a formation change,” Jordan said.
In the middle of the second half, Jordan changed the team’s formation from four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards to three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards.
“Had a lot of pressure after that,” Jordan said. “We really pushed the last 15 minutes of the game.”
With about 10 minutes remaining, Ramona drew a penalty kick, and once again Quilo converted the kick for a goal. The tie was the first for Jordan as the boys’ head coach.
When Jordan coached Ramona’s girls varsity team, he initiated a doubleheader for the girls and boys programs featuring the current varsity versus alumni players. Proceeds from that game are used to provide scholarships for current seniors, and in the 2008 boys game the varsity tied the alumni.
Jordan, a 1989 Ramona High School graduate, played for the alumni, as did Assistant Coach Mike Diaz. That left the varsity captains in charge of the varsity team.
“Maybe I should let them do it more often, because they played really well,” Jordan said. “Boys played great. They played great soccer.”
The varsity led 1-0 after a goal midway in the first half, although the alumni scored the equalizer with about a minute left to salvage a 1-1 tie.
One of the volunteer referees gave Jordan a yellow card during the game.
“He wasn’t going to let me play at that level,” Jordan said.