But Saturday, none of that mattered. The No. 5 Wolves held claim on their North Coast Section title beating No. 3 Monte Vista in the championship 2-0 on two goals from Jillian Armstrong.
The first goal, a left-foot shot off the post, came at minute 17, when Armstrong took a pass from Grace Leer.
The Mustangs came back hard in the second half, out-shooting the Wolves 7-3 but could not get past Wolves all-American goalkeeper Aubree Southwick, who recorded a total 12 saves. Just in front of her, the back line of Amanda Glass, Chelsea Gallegos and Mackenzie Laird, and defensive midfielder Gabby Parisella, kept the Mustangs at bay.
Monte Vista came close to scoring several times in the second half. Their best chance came at minute 53 when a free kick by Cori McGovern hit the top of the frame.
But two minutes later, Armstrong had the ball at the other end of the field and scored again on a penalty shot, giving the Wolves the win.
Boys soccer: Monte Vista rallies past Cal for title
The No. 1-seeded Mustangs claimed their second consecutive NCS 3A championship with a 1-0 win over No. 3 California, to end their undefeated season.
Alex Oberlander put in the game's only goal, on a rebounded ball. Jack Griffin, Mustang defender, had sent in a punishing free kick from 24 yards out, but the ball ricocheted off California goalkeeper David Bingham, leaving Oberlander to score.
The Grizzlies (17-5-2), led by California's star forward Andrew Wiedeman, staged several attacks, including a final push in the last ten minutes but to no avail. The Mustangs (19-0-7), who have shown a solid defense all year, held off the attacks and closed down shooting lanes.
Monte Vista is the first team since Miramonte in 2003-04 to finish the East Bay Athletic season undefeated.
Monte Vista girls advanced to the NCS Division I semifinals after a 54-46 win over Granada in Friday's quarterfinals. Niveen Rasheed, the MVP of the East Bay League, sat on the bench most of the first half in foul trouble, while the Mustangs supporting crew made the win a team effort.
Mustangs Anina Middleton, Nicole Vigar, Allie Samson and Carlyn Raphel carried the load for Monte Vista. Middleton and Raphel are starters, but Vigar and Samson came off the bench to combine for six points in the second quarter. Raphel, a senior, finished with a game-high 15 points, turning in one of her best games of the year. Middleton added another 12 points.
With the win, No. 3 Monte Vista became host of No. 7 San Leandro in Wednesday night's semifinal. Scores were unavailable at press time.
Monte Vista came up with a win at the wire in Friday's North Coast Section Division I quarterfinals. The Mustangs trailed the Antioch 50-49, but with 19 seconds left, were able to push it to a 53-50 win.
Senior Ryan Whalen, who ended the night with 17 points, calmly sank two free throws to give the Mustangs the lead in the fourth. Brian Barbour, a Monte Vista sophomore who ended the night with 14 points, finished it off with two more well-placed free throws.
Monte Vista players, shooting only 5-13 from the free throw line heading into the fourth, found themselves down 10 points headed into the fourth quarter. But soon the shots began to fall. With two minutes left, Cam Fenley helped Monte Vista regain at 49-48 and the team made the final clutch shots when it counted most.
With the win, No. 3 Monte Vista was chosen to host the No. 8 Berkeley in the semifinal Wednesday night. Scores were unavailable by press time.
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