Theoretically Ramona High School’s boys soccer team closed out the 2009 calendar year with a loss, but the 4-2 loss in the varsity-alumni game will not count in the Bulldogs’ overall season record. Ramona entered 2010 with a 4-3-1 record following wins in the Bulldogs’ final two official December games.
The Bulldogs’ home opener produced a 5-1 win over El Cajon Valley while a 4-0 win at Santana allowed Ramona to conclude the Grossmont Tournament with a 1-1-1 record in pool play.
Ramona coach Michael Jordan estimates that the home opener included approximately 100 spectators. “The crowd was unbelievable,” he said. “It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen for a regular-season game.”
Jordan told his players that they needed to support the fans and feed off the emotion at the stadium, and his team fulfilled that directive. Ramona had a 2-0 halftime lead, and, although the Braves scored the first goal of the second half, the game’s final three goals were scored by Bulldog players.
Ramona’s first goal against El Cajon Valley was scored by sophomore Sebastian Bueno, who earned a spot as a starter due to his efforts in practice.
“If you have a strong showing in practice, I want to try to increase your playing time,” Jordan said. “It really benefited us.”
Jordan utilized a 3-4-3 formation to allow Bueno to become a starting forward.
“Sebastian played incredible,” Jordan said. “That was a bright spot not only for us in that game but for the future.”
El Cajon Valley would recover from that loss to earn the wild card berth in the Grossmont Tournament.
Jordan started two freshmen and three sophomores against Santana and was also able to insert reserves by the end of the game.
“We just played maybe the best soccer game we played all year,” Jordan said. “I think we put together maybe our best all-around game of the year.”
Jake Venolia recorded his second shutout of the season. Freshman Ali Aparicio started at stopper, Nestor Dinero and Marco Sanchez were the outside defenders, and Walker Poortinga played sweeper.
In the second half Ramona’s defense allowed the Sultans only two shots.
Michael Quilo scored from about 18 yards out in the ninth minute, and the score was 1-0 at halftime.
“We just said to keep pushing,” Jordan said.
Chris Huber, who scored once against El Cajon, scored twice in the second half against Santana to give him seven goals in eight games. The seven goals match Huber’s 2008-09 season total.
The final goal was produced by two reserves: Parker Stewart’s corner kick was deflected by Santana’s goalkeeper, but Leo Romero was in position to head the rebound into the net.