As though playing the defending City Section soccer champions on their home turf wasn't tough enough, Grant High had to deal with a couple of distractions in its quarterfinal playoff match against Belmont on Tuesday.
The Belmont campus was evacuated before game time at 2:30 p.m. until a ticking shoe box could be removed from a school restroom by the Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad, Grant Coach Peter Soubaralian said.
Meanwhile, Grant waited on the team bus for 30 minutes while police disposed of the device.
But once the match started, Grant ran into a land mine or two on the field as Belmont High advanced to the semifinal round of the playoffs by eliminating Grant, 5-4. Belmont took a 2-0 lead at halftime and built a 4-2 lead midway through the second half.
But after Belmont scored its fourth goal, Grant forward Marco Sandoval caught the Belmont goaltender napping on the ensuing kickoff, scoring on a bomb of his own from 40 yards out to bring Grant to within 4-3.
Grant halfback William Garcia tied the score at 4-4 moments later by scoring on a penalty kick.
But the comeback attempt by Grant fizzled when Celio Garcia scored with five minutes remaining to give Belmont a berth in Thursday's semifinal round.
Belmont (10-1-2), winners of the Northern League, will face Kennedy on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Belmont beat Reseda, 2-1, in the first round last Thursday.
Edgardo Ortega had two assists and one goal for Belmont. Jose Moran and Jose Gudiel also added goals for Belmont.
Kennedy 2, Venice 1--Bob Stewart, a senior left wing, scored a goal six minutes into the first half for Kennedy, before the Golden Cougars scored four shoot-out goals to win the City quarterfinal soccer game. Venice tied the score with 12 minutes to go in the game on a penalty kick. Jeff Fine, Oscar Doletch, Mike McDonald and Tiebor Saltech all scored in the shoot-out for Kennedy (9-1-6) in the overtime period.
Prior to Tuesday's game, Venice had allowed only one goal this season. Kennedy, which lost to Belmont in last season's semifinal, earned a rematch in Thursday's semifinal at 2:30 p.m. Kennedy won City championships in 1981 and 1985.
San Pedro 2, Chatsworth 1--San Pedro, winners of the Marine League, advanced to a semifinal game against Poly at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday by eliminating Chatsworth.