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Wilson Wins Division I Title

March 09, 2003|John Ortega,Steven Herbert | From Staff Reports

Junior Tyler Mehl of Long Beach Wilson capped an impressive first season at forward by scoring one goal and assisting on another in a 3-2 victory over Huntington Beach Marina in the Division I championship game of the Southern Section boys' soccer playoffs at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.

The victory capped an undefeated season for top-seeded Wilson (26-0-5) and gave the school its first soccer title.

"It's just the best feeling in the world," said Mehl, who played midfield last season. "I said we were going to win the [Southern Section] title at the beginning of the season, but I wasn't real confident we could do it. But we did today."

Wilson, playing in its first title game, took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Freddy Villegas in the 30th minute. But Marina (18-8-2) tied the score on a left-footed shot by Noe Osorio less than three minutes into the second half.

Wilson, which was ranked sixth in the nation by Student Sports magazine, broke the tie when Mehl scored his 24th goal of the season on a rebound of a shot by Sammy Rivas midway through the second half and took a 3-1 lead less than two minutes later when Mehl fed an onrushing Kevin DeWalt for a goal.

Marina was without leading scorer J.T. Searles after he strained his left hamstring in the first half, but the Vikings narrowed their deficit to 3-2 on a goal by Manny Bermudez with less than two minutes to play.

Irvine Woodbridge 1, La Canada St. Francis 1 -- Defender Amir Shafii scored with less than two minutes left to salvage a tie for Woodbridge in the Division II final at Cal State Fullerton.

Woodbridge (17-1-5) entered the game as the No. 3-ranked team in the nation, but the Warriors were on the verge of suffering their second consecutive 1-0 loss in a Division II final before Shafii scored on a shot just under the crossbar from 22 yards.

St. Francis (26-5-1), the Mission League runner-up, took a 1-0 lead at the 4:57 mark of the first half when Luke Postlewaite headed in a pass that was headed to him from Collin Bunner.

Pico Rivera El Rancho 0, La Palma Kennedy 0 -- The scoreless tie was not indicative of the wide-open style of play between the Division III co-champions in the title game at Cal State Fullerton.

El Rancho (23-2-3), which was making its first appearance in a section championship, had its best scoring chance at the 57-minute mark when Carlos Torres and Carlos Reynoso had consecutive close-range shots turned back by Kennedy goalkeeper Scott Loveless.

Kennedy (16-6-7), which was appearing in a title game for the first time since winning the 3-A championship in 1980, just missed scoring in the 75th minute when Scott Brown's shot from 22 yards out was deflected over the crossbar by El Rancho goalkeeper Robert Pineda.

-- John Ortega

Cathedral City 3, Anaheim 1 -- Senior midfielder Julio Alvarez scored the tiebreaking goal in the 39th minute in the Division IV final at La Mirada High, giving the Lions their first title in the school's 12-year history.

Anaheim (20-8-2) nearly tied the score in the 75th minute when sophomore midfielder Jose Rojas' free kick deflected off the head of a Cathedral City player and hit the left goal post.

Junior forward Mario Moreno headed in senior forward Steve Perezchica's pass for an insurance goal in the 79th minute for the Lions (28-2-1), who won their final 22 games.

Lancaster Paraclete 4, Phelan Serrano 1 -- Seniors Tim Lanski and Tony Vigil scored four minutes apart in the first half in the Division V final at La Mirada as the Spirits were winners in their first section final.

Lanski added a second goal in the 72nd minute, and senior midfielder R.J. Miccio scored for the Spirits (24-5-1) in the 73rd minute. Hector Guzman scored on a free kick in the 47th minute for the Diamondbacks (17-8-4), who also were playing in their first section final.

San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret's 1, Ojai Thacher 0 -- Senior forward Bobby Oaks scored in the 24th minute and junior goalkeeper Hutch Parker made eight saves as the Tartans (16-1-3) won the Division VI final at La Mirada for their first section championship.

-- Steven Herbert

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