NorCal soccer semifinals: Archbishop Mitty boys, girls win thrillers to reach Division I championship matches

NorCal soccer semifinals: Archbishop Mitty boys, girls win thrillers to reach Division I championship matches

Girls soccer

Division I

No. 4 Archbishop Mitty 3, No. 1 St. Francis 2

Less than a week after suffering a crushing loss to rival St. Francis in a section final, Mitty got its chance for payback on Thursday night.

But for one half, not much changed.

St. Francis led by two goals as the Mountain View powerhouse seemed well on its way to a third consecutive victory over the Monarchs this season.

That only made the comeback all the more sweet for Mitty.

The San Jose school scored three second-half goals – two by Murphy Walsh, one by Kiki Vostermans – as it rallied to stun top-seeded St. Francis in the semifinals of the Northern California Division I regional.

Fourth-seeded Mitty will play for the title on Saturday night at second-seeded Del Oro-Loomis, which defeated San Ramon Valley 2-1 on Thursday.

“Biggest playoff comeback in program history,” Mitty coach JT Hanley said in a text to the Bay Area News Group.

Walsh scored in the 43rd and 49th minutes, and Vostermans provided the winning goal in the 60th minute.

In addition to the goal scorers, Hanley noted the “outstanding defending and leadership by senior center back and captain Megan Haniger. Strong performance in goal by senior Elizabeth Bray, who made several big saves and catches in traffic.”

The coach added, “Jordan Geis was immense again tonight. She worked tirelessly at both ends of the pitch and spent the final 15 minutes in midfield helping us see out the game. She, Murphy, and Megan were amazing.”

Mitty improved to 20-2-1.

St. Francis, which beat Mitty 2-1 in the Central Coast Section Division I final on Saturday, finished 20-2-2. 

—  Darren Sabedra

No. 2 Del Oro 2, No. 3 San Ramon Valley 1

In miserable late winter conditions in Loomis, San Ramon Valley came up a goal short as host Del Oro celebrated a narrow triumph to advance to the final on Saturday against Mitty.

Lauren Kealy had a second-half goal for San Ramon Valley.

Del Oro scored late in the first half and went ahead 2-0 in the second. SRV coach Mark Jones said Del Oro had only two shots all game.

Del Oro is 14-1-6.

SRV, which on Saturday won a North Coast Section championship, finished 19-4-2. 

—  Darren Sabedra

Division II

No. 7 Granite Bay 3, No. 6 Las Lomas 2:

In the battle of two upset teams. Granite Bay got the best of Las Lomas. The Knights started the game off well, taking a 2-0 lead into halftime.

But Granite Bay’s offense came alive in the second half. Reese Gotchall scored the equalizer for Granite Bay in the 60th minute and a free kick goal by Kathryn Gray in the 72nd minute gave the Grizzlies the edge over the Knights.

— Nathan Canilao

Boys soccer

Division I

No. 2 Archbishop Mitty 1, No. 3 Clovis North 1 (Mitty wins 5-4 on PKs)

A trip to the NorCal Division I championship came down to one moment, one kick, one well-timed and correctly-guessed lunge by Alan Quintero

With Mitty having made all five of its penalty kicks, the Monarchs just needed their steady senior keeper to make the save of his life against Clovis North’s fifth taker. 

And that’s exactly what he did.

Quintero jumped to his left and smothered the ball with his outstretched hands. A few seconds later, Quintero was buried under a pile of overjoyed teammates. Mitty will play host to rival St. Francis on Saturday for the Norcal Division I title.

“He’s not only a great goalkeeper, but he’s a great leader,” Mitty coach Cesar Sanchez said. “That’s why he was chosen as our captain.”

Mitty jumped on Clovis North early when Manuel Portillo collected a misplayed ball by Clovis North’s keeper and slotted in a shot with just two minutes gone by in the first half. 

Clovis North answered in the 23rd minute when Nixon Hansen crushed in a header to equalize. 

The rest of the match was a defensive slugfest on Mitty’s soggy pitch as the teams were pelted by rain. Playing in a compact 5-3-2 formation, center-backs Emiliano Fuentes and Andre Ceballos made many interceptions and tackles.

But while his name didn’t show up on the stat sheet, no player had a larger impact than central defensive midfielder Seunghyun Kim, an imposing junior who did all of the not-so-little things for the Monarchs. 

He acted as the screen in front of the back-5 out of possession and then served as the between-the-lines playmaker who pushed the ball up the pitch in Mitty’s attack. 

“He’s the big piece that connects our defense with our attack,” Sanchez said. “He’s spectacular for us.”

Both sides had chances, both in regulation and then in the 15-minute golden goal overtime period. Portillo had two high-quality long-range volleys barely deflected by Clovis’ keeper. 

But once it came down to penalties, each Mitty taker clinically smashed in his shot, setting up Quintero to seal the win.

Up next is St. Francis, the team Mitty defeated in the CCS Division I title game a week ago. 

“We’d love to play St. Francis again,” Sanchez said. 

— Joseph Dycus

No. 5 St. Francis 3, No. 8 Monte Vista 2

St. Francis sophomore Lukas Ramans scored the winning goal with three minutes remaining to punch the Lancers’ ticket to the NorCal Division I title game on Saturday. 

“It was a great soccer game between two great teams,” St. Francis coach Rusty Millard said. 

The Lancers, down 1-0 after 40 minutes, came out of the halftime break on a mission, with Brandon Agulo and David Hernandez both scoring within the first 20 minutes of the half. 

After Monte Vista tied the game at 2-2 with five minutes left, Ramans banged in the game-winner two minutes later. 

— Joseph Dycus

Division II

No. 1 Dougherty Valley 2, No. 5 Del Oro 1

Dougherty Valley, playing at home in San Ramon, was on the brink of elimination when 

Matas Drevinskas scored on a penalty during stoppage time to send this regional semifinal to overtime.

In the extra period, Drevinskas scored again to lift the Wildcats into the NorCal Division II final on Saturday night at home against second-seeded Burlingame, a 3-1 winner over Las Lomas on Thursday. 

—  Darren Sabedra

No. 2 Burlingame 3, No. 6 Las Lomas 1

With the match tied at 1 a piece in the first half, Burlingame’s offense broke through in the second to capture the win and advance to the Division II championship where it will face No. 1 seed Dougherty Valley.

Dax Mytels, Sammy Faham and Hank Lane each scored a goal for the Panthers in the win. Altai Ordubadi had two assists for Burlingame. Dylan Browning scored Las Lomas’ lone goal in the 12th minute.

— Nathan Canilao

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Division III

No. 1 Newark Memorial 4, No. 4 Pleasant Valley 1

Junior Ibrahim Ahmed scored two goals to lead the Cougars past Pleasant Valley. Noel Cabrales and Izeyah Romo had Newark Memorial’s other two goals. Romo led the team in assists with two while Eriberto Bermudez  and Armando Rodriguez had one each.

Bermudez also had a day defensively as the Cougars’ goal keeper as he had eight saves and allowed just one goal. Austin O’Niell had Pleasant Valley’s lone goal. Newark Memorial will host No. 6 Cardinal Newman in the Division III championship game on Saturday.

— Nathan Canilao