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Ibarra stars as Godinez claims first CIF-SS title
DOWNEY — Godinez boys soccer took home the school’s first CIF-SS championship Saturday by defeating South Torrance, 2-0, in the CIF-SS Division 4 final at Warren High.
Godinez (21-1-4) was founded in 2007, and Coach Ruben Fernandez founded the soccer program, which advanced to the Division 4 semifinals last season and the Division 5 quarterfinals in 2014 and semis in 2015.
After the game, Fernandez said he felt “a lot of pride for my boys. I’m very proud of them tonight. It’s sort of like seeing a work that we started eight years ago when I started the program and now finally seeing the results”
Godinez junior Bryan Ibarra led the team to victory by scoring both goals, giving him a team-high 28 for the season.
The first goal was headed in on a corner kick from senior Richard Perez. The second was on a cross in from senior Edgar Edame who found Ibarra in plenty of space.
The Grizzlies were perhaps more impressive on the defensive end. South Torrance (19-5-1) could not get past the Grizzlies’ back four and only had good looks on set pieces.
With 14 minutes left, South Torrance looked to have cut the score to 2-1. A long free kick from the Spartans was deflected by Godinez junior keeper Alex Penaloza, then deflected off the cross bar and the rebound was hit in.
The Spartan celebration was called off, however. Prior to the play, the officials had deemed it an indirect free kick, meaning that it could not be played directly on goal, it had to be touched by a teammate first. Because the kick hit the cross bar, play was blown dead.
The Spartans’ frustration showed late in the second half, and their comeback was made all but impossible when junior Noa Harrison drew a red card with six minutes remaining.
After the game, Ibarra said that the team was excited to be the first champions in school history.
“It means a lot,” he said. “You’re the first ones to ever do it, so whenever they think about CIF championships they’re going to think, ‘The soccer team was the first one to bring it home.’”