By Joe Naiman
The Bulldog boys soccer team’s final pre-league game was an 8-1 home win Jan. 13 over Health Sciences High School.
The win followed a 2-1 loss Jan. 10 at Vista and a 1-0 home win Jan. 8 against San Dieguito Academy. Ramona has a 5-5-4 record entering Valley League play, which begins Wednesday at Mission Vista.
The only goal of the game against San Dieguito was scored in the first half when Colin Uekert flipped the ball to Charles Montana for the shot, which was too fast for the Mustangs’ goalkeeper to react.
“He just had a cracker of a shot,” said coach Michael Jordan.
Goalkeeper Jesse Bonilla made 10 saves. The starting defense, who contributed to the shutout, consisted of Carson Charbonneau, Brandon Chavez, Ian Roed, and David Soto.
“Our defense has played great all year,” Jordan said. “They’ve given us an opportunity to win every game.”
Chavez was injured during the game.
“We had to replace him and the guys on the bench played great,” said Jordan.
Ramona and San Dieguito Academy are both in Division I for CIF playoff purposes. The Mustangs were ranked higher entering the game.
“That’s the biggest win we’ve had this season,” Jordan said. “They’re a very good team, so to beat them was huge.”
All of the scoring at Vista took place in the first half. The Panthers opened the scoring before Uekert scored the equalizer off an indirect kick. Vista’s second goal broke that deadlock.
“A little disappointing. We had a couple of opportunities for breakaways or one-on-ones and just couldn’t convert,” Jordan said. “To win such a big game on Wednesday and then not convert on the opportunities on Friday was difficult.”
Ramona’s game against Health Sciences, which is located in the City Heights area of San Diego, wasn’t originally intended to be a confidence booster for the Bulldogs. The initial schedule had Bonita Vista traveling to Ramona on Jan. 13, but when the Barons found themselves unable to fulfill that commitment they worked with the Ramona and Health Sciences athletic departments to send the Surgeons to Ramona.
The Bulldogs had a 6-0 halftime lead.
“We needed to get a little bit of our confidence back,” Jordan said.
Health Sciences began the game with the opening kickoff, but the ball was taken away by Brandon Duarte. Duarte turned the possession into a breakaway and scored eight seconds into the game.
“I’ve never seen a goal scored that fast before,” said Jordan.
Duarte scored four goals in the game’s first 21 minutes before being pulled.
“A goal scorer needs to score goals to keep his confidence and keep his touch, and going into league it was a good thing,” Jordan said.
Ramona had a 5-0 lead after Duarte’s fourth goal; Carlos Morales had the game’s second score. The final first-half goal was from Montana. Uekert and Alejandro Rodriguez scored in the second half.
Later in the game Rodriguez collided with a Health Sciences player. The trip to the hospital revealed a fractured face, so Rodriguez is out for the season.
Bonilla made one save in the first half. Eric Meza was Ramona’s second-half goalkeeper and recorded three saves.
The Bulldogs have a league match at Oceanside on Friday.