Ramona High School’s boys soccer team was victorious in a Feb. 12 game at Valley Center, but the Bulldogs’ two-game winning streak came to an end Feb. 13 at Orange Glen.
The split of the two games gave Ramona a 3-7 record in Valley League competition and a 6-12-1 overall season won-loss statistic.
The Bulldogs will conclude their regular season and will also honor their seniors tonight when Ramona hosts San Marcos. Ramona came from behind in the 3-2 win over Valley Center, as the Jaguars scored the game’s first goal on a penalty kick.
“We just kept our heads in the game,” said Coach Michael Jordan.
Midway in the first half, Chris Huber stripped a Jaguar player of the ball and dribbled downfield, beating Valley Center defenders along the way, before releasing the ball.
“Made a beautiful pass across the box,” Jordan said.
Michael Quilo was on the other side of the penalty box and scored the equalizer. Approximately 10 minutes later, the Bulldogs took a throw-in.
“We had talked before the game about how their field was really long but narrow,” Jordan said.
Jordan had designed a play in which Jesse Cappadocia took the throw-in and Huber stood in front of the goalkeeper to screen the netminder. Cappadocia would then throw to Trevor Adelman at the back post. Although that play was not executed during the game, Cappadocia’s first-half throw-in went to Huber.
“Chris Huber made a beautiful half-volley from about the 18-yard-line,” Jordan said.
Huber’s goal gave Ramona the lead, and the Bulldogs led 2-1 at halftime.
“It was a pretty emotional game. It was a very, very physical game,” Jordan said.
With about 10 minutes left in the game, Valley Center scored the equalizer.
“That obviously brought their emotions up,” Jordan said. “It added to the intensity.”
Ramona High School and Valley Center High School have similar sizes and similar socio-economic student demographics.
“They’re kind of a rival school for us,” Jordan said. The Bulldogs had beaten Valley Center at home Jan. 20 and relished the possibility of a sweep.
“We weren’t going to settle for a tie,” Jordan said.
With about three minutes remaining, Cappadocia took another throw-in.
“It got kicked around,” Jordan said.
Eventually the loose ball became a header opportunity for Ramona’s John Randol.The ball hit the top of the crossbar and bounced into the goal.
The Valley Center match also marked the varsity debut of freshman Marco Sanchez, who had been the junior varsity’s starting sweeper before he was called up.
“He held his own. He did a fantastic job,” Jordan said.
Jordan had called up Sanchez in part to give the freshman experience for next year at the varsity level and in part because injuries throughout the season created the need for another defender.
During the Valley Center game Adelman, who is Ramona’s starting stopper, was injured. Adelman missed the following day’s game at Orange Glen, in which Cappadocia and goalie Jake Venolia were injured, and Shane Damon missed the Orange Glen game due to illness.
“We were really devastated as far as defenders go,” Jordan said. “Orange Glen just took it to us.”
The Patriots’ 9-1 win began with Orange Glen scoring the game’s first goal. Huber scored the equalizer, but the Patriots scored four more times in the first half for a 5-1 halftime lead. Tonight’s game not only honors the seniors but gives the Bulldogs a chance to reverse a Jan. 27 loss to San Marcos.
“We want to avenge ourselves,” Jordan said.