Bulldog boys tie highly-ranked Titans in soccer match

By Joe Naiman

When Poway High School’s boys soccer team traveled to Ramona for a Feb. 9 game against the Bulldog squad, the Titans led the Palomar League standings and were ranked fourth in San Diego County, 19th in the state and 36th in the nation.

Although Ramona was not able to hold a 1-0 halftime lead, the game ended as a 1-1 tie.

“It was a huge tie for us,” said Coach Michael Jordan. “We hung with them.”

The Bulldogs, whose game Feb. 7 was a 3-1 road loss at Westview, ended the week with a 2-5-1 Palomar League record and a 9-10-3 overall performance for the season.

Westview had all of the second-half scoring after the Feb. 7 game was tied at halftime. Jordan noted that the difference between Ramona and its opponents is depth at the premier club league level.

“They have one stud after the next that can go in there,” Jordan said of Westview and Poway.

Westview scored the first goal of the game, but the Bulldogs attained the equalizer after Carlos Blanco brought the ball up the flank and sent it toward Julio Velasco.

“Julio just went up and just won the ball in the air,” Jordan said.

Velasco redirected the header into the net to create a 1-1 game, which was the score when the halftime whistle blew.

“We just couldn’t hold them off,” Jordan said. “Westview’s a very good team.”

Jordan is not disappointed with the loss to the Wolverines.

“The boys play above their head and they play inspired,” he said.

Any discomfort Jordan had was physical, as the game was played during rainfall.

“It was a miserable night,” he said.

A back injury kept Ramona center-midfielder Morgan Schmidt from playing in any of the Bulldogs’ first 17 games, and a minor injury Feb. 2 limited his on-field play to about a third of the match, but he recorded his first assist of the season Feb. 9 against the Titans.

“He broke down the defense, beat the defense,” Jordan said. “He is just such a playmaker.”

Schmidt determined that Andy Garcia had a better chance of putting the ball into the net and made the appropriate pass. Garcia then beat the goalkeeper to give Ramona the lead.

The Titans scored the equalizer in the second half.

“We held them off, and we ended up with a draw,” Jordan said. “We drew with the first-place team, which was pretty impressive.”

The Bulldogs close out the regular season Thursday at Torrey Pines.

Saturday’s CIF playoff selection and seeding meeting will determine the Bulldogs’ future 2011-12 competition.


   
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