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CHS soccer loses heartbreaker in CIF play

The Claremont High School boys varsity soccer team’s incredible season came to an end Friday night when they lost to Pasadena High during the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division 3 CIF tournament at CHS.

The game played out much like the last two in the tournament, with Claremont falling behind 1-0 and then rallying near the end to throw the game into overtime. Only this time they were not able to snatch victory from the hands of defeat.

The game was scoreless after 60 minutes of play when Pasadena’s Alexander Hernandez got a surprise shot from the right side, beating Claremont goalkeeper Kyle Del Campo.

A few minutes later, Claremont responded in a crazy play where the ball bounced around in front of the net until it popped out in front of sophomore Osvaldo Lopez who slid into the ball, catching the corner of the net.

Tied after regulation, and at the end of two 10-minute overtime periods, the winner was decided by penalty kicks. Pasadena’s goalkeeper Joshua Ramirez was red hot and blocked three of the Pack’s four kicks, sealing the victory for the Bulldogs.

“They have a good goalie and he guessed right,” said Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver.

“It’s just the nature of the game,” he said. “Last time we got the PKs and the other team cried.”

Claremont played a very good game and had numerous chances to score, but for myriad reasons, it just did not materialize.

“They played much better that’s for sure,” said Bruce Oliver “I always tell them don’t worry about the score, just focus on the game and the opportunities will arise.”

Claremont ended the season with an 18-2-4 record overall and 9-0-1 in the Palomares League. Friday’s loss was the only time they boys lost at home and the first loss since they lost to Chaffey High in December. They finished the season ranked sixth in the state and 27th in the nation.

The team will still get a banner in the school’s gym, for Palomares League champions, it may not be the banner they were shooting for, but the boys have much to make them proud.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com

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