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KEVIN SULLIVAN, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Troy's Patrick Nguyen, left, battles with Sunny Hills' Jorge Echeverria during the Lancers' 2-1 victory over the Warriors Thursday in Fullerton.

Sunny Hills gives itself a chance

OCVARSITY.COM

FULLERTON – When Sunny Hills had to forfeit five Freeway League games 10 days ago, the Lancers went from being the favorites to win the championship to a long shot just to make it into the post season.

But after beating host Troy 2-1 on Thursday, the Lancers ((8-11-2, 4-4-2) moved into a tie for third, and will meet Buena Park Friday with the winner, earning the league's final spot in the Division 2 boys soccer playoffs.

“You talk about guys I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with. Their character is phenomenal,” Sunny Hills coach Mike Schade said. “Look at what happened to them. Look at what was taken away from them.”

The Lancers were 6-0-0 and in first place in the Freeway League when Sunny Hills found out that two of its players competed on another team during the high school season, which violated CIF-SS Article 60, resulting in the five Freeway League and six nonleague forfeits. After that, though, the Lancers went 3-0-1,and the goal that Arman Marzvaan scored for Troy (2-7-1) in the 77th minute off a Sanjay Joshi corner kick on Thursday was just the second goal that the Lancers gave up in 10 Freeway League games.

“In the second half that is how we have played all season. We have dominated possession, but we have problems 25 yards and in,” Troy coach Mike Silzer said. “We have made significant strides, and said we are going to be possession oriented. And we did it. We didn’t get the result, but it was nice to score the goal.”

Hernan Sotello did all of the Lancers’ scoring on Thursday, volleying a shot inside the far post in the fifth minute, following that up five minutes later with the game winner. Sunny Hills has now outscored its opponents 71-7 this season.

For most of the first half, Troy tried to get the ball to Joshi and Nicholas Bollier in the right corner, but Mitchell Bell and Carlos Andrade prevented the Warriors from maintaining possession in the final third.

The Warriors did venture into the box a couple of times, however.

In the 34th minute, Joshi tried to cross the ball in to Bollier but it was quickly cleared by the Lancers. Then, in the 38th minute, Joshi tried to head the ball to Bollier at the near post, but Jordan Brinkley, who finished with three saves for the Lancers, grabbed the ball before it could get to its target.

“They (Sunny Hills) are a good team. The hard part about the Freeway League is every team is a good team. You can’t make a mistake. All of the games are super tight,” Silzer said. “Sunny Hills was ready to play, and I thought our kids did a good job.”

In the Trinity League:

No. 3 Santa Margarita 1, St. John Bosco 0: Sam Goode scored early in the first half and the Eagles (18-3-4, 7-0-3) made it through league play without a loss by beating the visiting Braves. Santa Margarita recorded its 14th shutout of the season.

No. 4 JSerra 5, Orange Lutheran 0: Jonathan Fabulich finished with four goals and an assist for the host Lions (15-3-3, 7-2-1). Andres Mendoza also scored for the Lions.

In the Empire League

Yorba Linda 2, Pacifica 1: Jacob Kaddoura scored two goals for the visiting Mustangs (12-5-2, 10-2-0), who won their first league championship.


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