By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys soccer team gave itself a 12-1-2 record entering league play with a Jan. 9 scoreless tie at San Dieguito Academy and a 1-0 home win Jan. 11 against Vista.
“To get two shutouts says a lot about our defense,” said coach Michael Jordan. “Those were two really hard games this week.”
San Dieguito’s game two days earlier was a win over Carlsbad.
“They had a very good team. They had just beat Carlsbad, which was the No. 1-ranked team in the state,” Jordan said. “A 0-0 draw at their place on an old beat-up grass field— the boys weren’t used to that—was a pretty good outcome.”
The Mustangs also entered the game with only one loss during the season.
“It was a very tight, close match,” Jordan said.
“We had our opportunities to score,” Jordan said. “The goalkeeper played well.”
Ramona’s goalkeeper, Jesse Bonilla, also excelled during the game. Bonilla made seven saves. Jordan used four defenders against the Mustangs.
“We knew that we were going to be playing against a really high-powered offensive team,” Jordan said.
Ali Aparicio, Aedan Maruna, David Soto, and Jose “Kiko” Valencia were
“They do a great job, amazing job,” said Jordan.
Maruna is a midfielder when Jordan uses a three-defender format.
“Aedan Maruna was the man of the match,” Jordan said. “He played his best game of the year.”
Aparicio, Soto, and Valencia were the defenders for the shutout against Vista, in which Bonilla made eight saves. Jordan’s formation against the Panthers utilized five midfielders.
“We controlled the middle,” Jordan said. “Vista was a good team, too.”
The game’s only goal occurred late in the first half when Abraham Cabrera passed to Alex Medina. Medina then beat a defender, forcing Vista’s goalkeeper to come out of the box. Medina then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, ran past the goalie, trapped the ball with his foot, and put the ball into the net.
“It was a gorgeous, gorgeous goal,” Jordan said.
Ramona had other offensive attacks.
“We seriously could have had at least six just tap-in goals,” Jordan said. “Their goalkeeper made some phenomenal saves, as did Jesse. At both ends of the field there were opportunities.”
The Bulldogs entered league play ranked third in the county by maxpreps.com for schools of all divisions. The Bulldogs host Oceanside Thursday night, Jan. 17, as part of a girls-boys doubleheader. The girls will play the first game and the boys are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.