By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys soccer team won its first two Valley League games Jan. 15 against Mission Vista and Jan. 17 against Oceanside.
Both matches were at home. The Bulldogs defeated Mission Vista by a 4-0 score and earned a 2-0 win over Oceanside.
“The boys are doing really well. I’m really proud of them,” said coach Michael Jordan.
Both games had 1-0 halftime scores. Ramona’s goal against Mission Vista was scored by Morgan Schmidt midway in the first half.
Schmidt added a second-half goal against the Timberwolves, and Alex Medina also scored twice against Mission Vista. Andy Garcia and Alex Nastre each recorded assists.
Goalkeepers Jesse Bonilla and Tony Alba shared the shutout. Kiko Valencia was Ramona’s starting sweeper, Aedan Maruna and David Soto were the starting outside defenders, and Colin Uekert was the first-string stopper.
“The defense played well,” Jordan said.
Oceanside also won its first league game and entered the contest at Ramona with a five-game winning streak.
“Pretty good match-up,” Jordan said.
Ramona entered the game with a 13-game undefeated streak which was extended to 14 games with the win over the Pirates.
Uekert scored Ramona’s first-half goal by heading in Abraham Cabrera’s corner kick.
“Just went up and elevated above everybody else and put it in the back of the net,” Jordan said.
The Pirates were aware that a one-goal deficit could be made up.
“Second half our defense was able to withstand the barrage,” said Jordan.
Ramona’s second goal was scored on a counterattack. Cabrera took the ball up the field and tried to cross the ball in the wind, which blew the ball towards the net. Oceanside’s goalkeeper was unable to play the ball cleanly, and the ball went into the goal.
The win against Oceanside gave Ramona a 14-1-2 overall season record.
“Fourteen wins at this juncture is fantastic, but more importantly we’re 2 and 0 in league,” Jordan said. “We get different play out of different people when we need it offensively and defensively.”
The shutout was Ramona’s fourth consecutive and the Bulldogs’ ninth of the season.
The Bulldogs retained their maxpreps.com ranking of third in the county for schools of all divisions, and maxpreps.com ranked Ramona 24th in the state after the win over the Pirates.
“We have a target on our back now,” Jordan said. “People know that we have a good team.”
Ramona will also have the task of playing five consecutive league games on the road, beginning with a Jan. 24 match at Del Norte.