By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys soccer team closed out Calendar Year 2013 with a 2-2 tie Dec. 17 at San Marcos and a 2-1 home loss Dec. 20 against Hoover.
The results gave the Bulldogs a 3-4-4 season record entering 2014.
San Marcos held a 1-0 halftime lead over the Bulldogs, but during the second half a pass from Charles Montana to Brandon Duarte resulted in Duarte’s game-tying goal. The Knights took a 2-1 lead, and Ramona’s drawbacks also included defender Tanarat Crowe leaving the game with a hyperextended knee. Crowe spent much of the second half on the bench with an ice pack on his knee.
With about two minutes remaining, Jordan felt that Crowe would be able to return to the game for a critical throw-in.
“He can throw it far post,” Jordan said. “It’s a good weapon.”
Crowe took off his ice pack and limped to the sideline. His throw-in was close enough to the goal that Colin Uekert was able to head it towards the net. The ball was deflected by the San Marcos goalkeeper and went over the net, giving Ramona a corner kick.
Jordan took Crowe out of the game and had Aeden Maruna take the corner kick. Maruna aimed the ball towards Uekert, who sent another header towards the goal. This time the ball went into the net.
Ramona controlled the rest of the match.
“We actually almost scored the game winner,” Jordan said. “It was a good game.”
Hoover also had a 1-0 halftime lead against Ramona.
“Hoover’s a good team. They have some really good athletes,” Jordan said.
The coach made a formation adjustment in the second half, utilizing three forwards, four midfielders, and three defenders.
“We haven’t surrendered more than two goals a game. Defensively we’ve been great,” he said. “In the attacking third we just can’t put balls into the net.”
Jordan noted that Duarte had been successful in scoring but feared that the forward would be double-teamed in the absence of other offensive threats.
Ramona tied the game against Hoover when Maruna took the ball over the throw-in line and shot from about 30 yards. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced straight down. The ball may have fully crossed the goal line, in which case it would have been a goal, but Duarte took no chances and kicked the ball into the net. The referee’s whistle signaled a goal and not which player actually scored it.
The Cardinals scored the game’s final goal.
“At the end we just made a defensive mistake,” Jordan said.
On Saturday, Jan. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, the boys and girls varsity teams will hold a soccer clinic for youths ages 4 through 14. Saturday night is the varsity-alumni doubleheader for Ramona’s boys and girls teams. The Bulldogs’ next CIF game will take place Jan. 8 at home against San Dieguito Academy.