|OCVarsity Top 10: Golden goal and water polo championship|
Highlights include a golden goal in the playoffs, a game-winning free kick header, a beautiful reverse layup, a water polo championship celebration, and more! Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com.
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Los Alamitos beats Aliso Niguel in double overtime
LOS ALAMITOS – With five minutes left in the second overtime period, Evan Bacani got the ball at midfield and the Los Alamitos sophomore forward began his sprint toward the Aliso Niguel goal.
He weaved around one of the Wolverines’ defenders and then dodged another one as he broke free just outside of the box. That’s when he took his shot in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.
Four times during Tuesday’s game, the host Griffins had a chance to take the lead, but every time the ball missed its mark by a just a few inches.
This time Bacani’s shot was right on line as it curled toward the far post. Riley Copland leaped as high as he could to try and make the save for Aliso Niguel, but he couldn’t quite catch up with the ball and Los Alamitos had a 1-0 victory.
The Griffins (17-7-5) will face second-seeded Millikan (24-2-3) in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
“He is a threat at all times with his pace and his speed and his athletic ability. It was an amazing goal,” Los Alamitos coach Don Martinez said.
“They (Millikan) are one of the best teams in the CIF. Millikan is going to be a handful for us, and we are going to have to prepare and make sure we keep on doing what has made us successful.”
The Griffins didn’t face the Wolverines (14-2-7) when they were at their best as they were missing four starters, including defensive midfielder Beezer Wehan and center back Andrew Koscal.
Wehan tried to give it a go on Tuesday even though he wasn’t feeling well, but he had to leave the game in the first half when he began throwing up. Koscal was battling a bad case of the flu, which required a trip to the hospital.
“But you have to give credit to Los Al. They scored a great goal, and had four great chances,” Aliso Niguel coach Randy Dodge said. “But we can’t afford to lose anybody.”
When at full strength, the Wolverines can stall even the best forwards in the county as each game they played against Servite and San Clemente, the first and fourth seeds in the division, during the regular season ended in a tie.
On Tuesday, though, Los Al was able to break through the midfield and into the final third time and again. Sometimes two marks couldn’t even stop the Griffins as Fabrizio Soto dribbled between the Wolverines’ Sean MacWilliams and Adam Tedder and took a shot from 10 yards out. The ball, however, went over the crossbar.
“We had a heck of a season, and no one can take that away from us,” Dodge said.
The Wolverines ended the season ranked seventh in Division 1 while Los Alamitos was not among the top 10.
“I am proud of the guys,” Dodge said. “I mean we had four good chances today, too.”
None was better than the one the Wolverines had in the 20th minute when Christian Olmedo hooked a 35-yard free kick around the Griffins’ wall. Nick Bonis wrapped his arms around the ball to make the save for Los Al, but the he couldn’t hang on to it and the ball bounced out to the penalty spot where Nathan Lee was standing. With his first touch, Lee took a shot, but it was just wide of the near post.
“We weren’t sure how far we were going to go (in the playoffs),” Martinez said. “But the one thing we did know is that we prepare for everything.”