Soccer playoff comeback falls short for Bulldog boys

   In the CIF Division II playoff quarterfinal match March 1 between Ramona High School and Orange Glen High School at Orange Glen, the Patriots took a 2-0 halftime lead but had to fend off a second-half Ramona surge to seal a 2-1 victory.

   “The way we played in the last 40 minutes, I was so proud of the boys,” said Ramona coach Michael Jordan. “The last 40 minutes were fantastic.”

   Ramona had advanced to the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win on the road Feb. 24 at Southwest High School.  The game at Orange Glen was originally scheduled for Feb. 27, but after the Bulldogs arrived at the Patriots’ field subsequent rainfall made the pitch unsuitable for play and the match was rescheduled for Monday, March 1. 

   “We finally were able to get that game in,” Jordan said.

Orange Glen had won the Valley League and was seeded first in the Division II playoffs. 

   “I didn’t go in there just to keep the game close,” Jordan said.

   Two first-half Patriot goals off of set plays threatened to deny Jordan and the Bulldog players even the consolation prize of holding the eventual CIF Division II champions to a single-goal margin. 

   “First half we played poorly,” Jordan said.  “Just poor marking on our part.”

The Bulldogs corrected those mistakes after halftime. 

   “The whole team played better.  We played fantastic second half,” Jordan said. “They just came alive.”

   Midway in the second half, Eddie Delgado passed to Andy Garcia, who beat a defender and scored Ramona’s goal. Garcia, a freshman, also had the assist in Ramona’s goal over Southwest.

   “He just had a great playoff,” Jordan said of Garcia.

With about 15 minutes remaining Jordan utilized a three-forward formation. 

   “We had a couple of more really good opportunities,” Jordan said.

   Those opportunities included a late shot which went off the crossbar. 

   “We really poured it on,” Jordan said.  “Just didn’t go our way.”

   The loss was Ramona’s third 2-1 deficit against Orange Glen; the Patriots won league matches January 13 at Orange Glen and Feb. 5 at Ramona. Those two losses comprised part of the Bulldogs’ 5-7 Valley League record, which placed them fifth among the league’s seven teams. The playoff victory and loss gave Ramona a final 2009-10 overall record of 12-11-1.

   
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