(Top photo) The Cardinal boys varsity soccer team, after their win Wednesday: (Not in order) John Nava, Luis Vaca, Fernando Zapata, Pedro Duran, Leroy Contreras, Ernie Ayala, Manuel Guzman, Jesus Medina, Isaac Medina, Dela Medina, Alex Gomez, Miguel Magana, Jose Munoz, Sergio Alamillo, Salvador Roman, Mario Cisneros, Fernando Gutierrez, Antonio Valenzuela, Jose Luis Lugo, Jose Mejia, Martin Ramirez. (Bottom left) Jose Mejia (#20) passes the ball to Fernando Zapata. (Bottom right) Jose Lugo (#19) goes after the ball with a San Marino player. Photos by Brian D. Wilson

Cardinal boys win first round of CIF Division 5 soccer playoffs

February 16, 2007
Second round tomorrow at Rancho Palos Verdes
The Cardinal boys soccer team had to play their best game, and that’s what they did Wednesday to win the first round of the CIF Division 5 playoffs. Santa Paula traveled to San Marino High School and came away with a 3-2 victory.The game was played on a beautiful, artificial turf field at San Marino, under sunny skies. The Cards played hard for most of the first period, but faded a little in the last minutes. It wasn’t until midway through the second period that they seemed to come back to life and went on to win.San Marino had an opportunity to score early in the game on a penalty kick, but Santa Paula goalkeeper John Nava kept it from going in. Santa Paula then scored their first goal on a penalty kick, off the foot of senior Luis Vaca. San Marino answered with a goal minutes later, also from a penalty kick. They scored again in the final minutes of the first period.Santa Paula tied the game 10 minutes into the second period, again on a penalty kick from Luis Vaca. The winning goal came with just a few minutes left in the game when Salvador Roman slammed the ball into the net when a kick by Pedro Duran ricocheted off the fingers of a defender.
Coach Manny Elizarraraz gave goalkeeper Nava credit for saving the day. “When they were up 2-1 there were a couple of times when they could have nailed us and he came up big,” he said. “He did an excellent job today. Everybody that I put in, all my bench players came out and did a phenomenal job for us. They made a big difference. I’ve been telling them that sometimes a lot more with heart than with skill and that’s what they showed in the last 15 minutes of the game.”Santa Paula has their second round game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. against the Chadwick Dolphins in Rancho Palos Verdes.

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