By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys soccer team saw its 16-game unbeaten streak snapped Jan. 29 with a 2-1 loss at Orange Glen, but the Bulldogs followed it with a 4-3 victory over Mission Vista on Jan. 31.
The results of the two games gave the Bulldogs a 17-2-2 overall season record, including a 5-1 mark in Valley League competition.
Orange Glen held a 1-0 halftime lead and took a 2-0 cushion before the Bulldogs scored their only goal.
“We definitely didn’t play how we’ve been playing all year,” said coach Michael Jordan.
The Patriots’ first goal was scored on a counterattack. Another counterattack led to a corner kick, and one of Orange Glen’s players was able to follow a bounce with a header into the Ramona net.
“Just kind of a sloppy defensive play,” Jordan said.
With about 15 minutes remaining in the game, Morgan Schmidt was taken down in the penalty box, giving Ramona a penalty kick. Alex Medina took the shot and put Ramona on the scoreboard.
“Had a few more opportunities, but just couldn’t get the equalizer,” Jordan said.
Ramona’s only other defeat of the season took place Dec. 3 against Carlsbad in the Coronado Islander Tournament.
“It’s been about two months since we’ve lost a soccer game,” said Jordan.
The coach tried to look on the positive side of the loss to Orange Glen.
“That might be something that kind of refocuses us,” he said. “We’re not good enough to just go through the motions and win games.”
Mission Vista uses a grass field and the midfield area didn’t recover well from the rain the previous week.
“It was a horrible field,” Jordan said. “The boys just aren’t used to playing on that. They adjusted well and made some nice changes.”
The Timberwolves opened the scoring in the first two minutes of the game, but Ramona then scored three unanswered goals. Medina tied the game, Aedan Maruna passed to Brandon Duarte for the go-ahead goal, and Duarte scored again after Medina’s shot was blocked.
“He got one goal on skill and one goal on hustle,” Jordan said of Duarte.
A Mission Vista goal late in the first half created a 3-2 halftime score. Medina’s second goal of the game gave Ramona a 4-2 lead. The Timberwolves’ only shot on goal in the second half came late in the half and was from a distance but went into the net.
“We got it done,” Jordan said.
Del Norte tied Orange Glen on Jan. 31, giving the Patriots a 5-0-1 league record. Ramona and Orange Glen will face each other again Feb. 14 in Ramona to conclude the regular season.
The last of Ramona’s five consecutive games on the road will be played Thursday, Feb. 7, at Valley Center. The Bulldogs return home Feb. 12 against Del Norte, which will be Senior Night as Jordan wished to have that event prior to a game with less pressure than the one against Orange Glen.