El Camino rolls in semifinal win while Cuyamaca goes to overtime to set up state championship game
WALNUT - There has been one constant during the 2023 California Community College Athletic Association men's soccer championships for Cuyamaca College: their opponent has scored first in all four of their games.
But in every one of those games, the Coyotes have rallied back and picked up the victory to advance to the next round.
Friday night was no different.
The Coyotes – who were seeded No. 10 in the Southern California Regional bracket -fell behind twice against Santa Rosa on Friday night at Mt. San Antonio College, only to come back twice sending the game to extra time. In the overtime, Enrique Rodriguez slotted home the game-winner sending the Coyotes to Sunday's championship with a 3-2 win over Santa Rosa.
Meanwhile, Cuyamaca's opponent Sunday, El Camino, continued its impressive run this season, as it steamrolled Evergreen Valley 4-0 in the other semifinal.
The two teams will kick off at 2 p.m. Sunday at Mt. SAC.
Santa Rosa opened the scoring in its semifinals with a Victor Vargas goal, but the Bear Cubs gave the goal back, succumbing to Cuyamaca's pressure to accidentally put the ball into their own net In the 33rd minute.
The two teams traded goals within two minutes before the first half ended, with Sam Nolan getting Santa Rosa its second lead in the 39th minute. But Venizio Dimas tied it back up before the break with a finish off a feed from Kevin Blanchet.
On the other field, Marvin Gamez continued his impressive season with a hat trick for the Warriors. He opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, as he finished a pass from Diego Garcia, giving El Camino a 1-0 lead at the half.
With Evergreen pushing for the equalizer, the Warriors took advantage. Gamez doubled the lead with a score after a steal in the 47th minute. Shingo Nakano kept the pressure on in the 61st minute, picking the pocket of a defender, and tucked the ball into the net.
Gamez completed the hat trick in the 71st minute, firing a shot that deflected off the hands of goalkeeper Sammy Molina before trickling in.
El Camino will be looking for its fifth all-time state championship but its first since 1992 while Cuyamaca will be trying to win a title for the first time. The game will be streamed on a pay-per-view basis by BAOSN following the women's title matchup between Cypress and Folsom Lake at 10 a.m., also on BAOSN,
(Bill Norris, CCCSIA)