By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys soccer team ended its season with an overall record of 5-11-8, including a Valley League mark of 0-6-4.
The final two league losses, which closed out the Bulldogs’ season, both involved winning goals in the final two minutes.
“Typical of our season,” said coach Michael Jordan.
Orange Glen hosted the Bulldogs on Feb. 19.
“Played a great game,” Jordan said. “Had some opportunities, especially in the last seven or eight minutes.”
The game was a scoreless tie in the final minutes before the Patriots scored on a counterattack.
“That was pretty deflating,” Jordan said.
The Orange Glen goal in the final two minutes also prevented Ramona goalkeeper Jesse Bonilla from tying the career shutout team record. Bonilla, a senior, finished his four Ramona High School seasons with 29 shutouts, which ties him for second in team history with Tim Nagle and places him one behind Oscar Bravo.
“That was tough, too,” Jordan said of Bonilla failing to attain the shutout record.
Bonilla was one of 11 seniors honored at Senior Night ceremonies prior to Ramona’s Feb. 21 home game against Del Norte. Jordan started all 11 seniors, including Alejandro Rodriguez, who was declared out for the season after a Jan. 13 collision with a Health Sciences High School player resulted in a fractured face. Del Norte coach Dave O’Rielly agreed to having Rodriguez take the opening kickoff, kick the ball out of bounds, and then be replaced by a substitution.
Alex Nastre was injured for most of the league season but played Feb. 21.
“I’m sure it was important to him to try to play Senior Night,” Jordan said.
Jordan noted that there was no need to rest seniors.
“We’re just trying to win our Senior Night game. We’re trying to win a game,” he said.
Nastre almost did that single-handedly, scoring twice in the first half to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 halftime lead. Senior Brandon Duarte had the assist on one of Nastre’s goals while junior Aeden Maruna had the other assist.
A corner kick allowed Del Norte to set a play in the second half, which resulted in the Nighthawks’ first goal. Del Norte tied the game on Ramona’s inability to mark the Nighthawks’ offensive threats successfully. The winning goal was scored with about one minute left.
The Bulldogs’ record gave them last place in the six-team Valley League standings. Last year Ramona finished 8-1-1 in league competition and took second place.
“It was frustrating and perplexing and strange,” Jordan said.
The Bulldogs failed to make the 2013-14 CIF playoffs.
“I’ve never seen a season like this before. It was just weird,” Jordan said. “It was a strange year.”