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CIF soccer: Too high to climb

West Ranch’s comeback attempt comes up short in CIF-SS Div. III second round

Posted: February 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch’s Brandon Dooley (21) attempts a bicycle kick on goal late in the first half against Paramount on Tuesday at West Ranch High School.

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West Ranch did just about everything it could muster to rally back against highly-ranked Paramount boys soccer team.

There just wasn’t enough time, and not enough chances to complete the comeback on Tuesday at West Ranch High School, where the Wildcats lost 2-1 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.

It marked the end of West Ranch’s most successful boys soccer season, which culminated in a Foothill League title and a first-round playoff victory over Cabrillo last week.

No other Wildcats team had ever advanced to the second round of the CIF playoffs before Tuesday.

But the two-time defending Division III champion Pirates (19-4-3) proved too big of a challenge.

“It was too high of a mountain to climb,” said West Ranch head coach Fred McGinn. “They were just playing too defensive.”

In the final 15 minutes, West Ranch (13-4-3) kept the ball into the attacking third most of the way.

It had freekicks, corner kicks and deep throw-ins, but couldn’t come up with the game-tying score.

“We didn’t want to go out not giving 100 percent,” said Wildcats senior Chris Tumasone. “We knew it could have been our last game, so it was pretty emotional.”

Tumasone, Brandon Dooley and Connor Ashlock all had quality shots-on-goal in the second half, but Paramount always had a player in the right position to clear the ball at the last second.

The only ball that found the back of the net for the Wildcats came in the final two minutes of the first half.

Dooley sent a ball to Tumasone, who had enough space to settle it from 30 yards away and then launch it toward the upper-right corner of the goal.

It curled in to cut Paramount’s lead to 2-1.

“It was like a cold bucket of water,” said Paramount head coach Juan Navarro of the Tumasone’s shot. “It was an unexpected goal, and we kind of felt that and (we) just got down.”

Up until that point, West Ranch appeared outmatched by a tall, speedy Paramount team, which ranked second in the end-of-season CIF divisional poll.

The Pirates were winning nearly every ball in the midfield and they provided consistent offensive pressure.

Right away, Frankie Perez knocked in a left-footed shot to put Paramount on the board in the fourth minute of the game.

Senior Jose Ochoa assisted Perez’ goal, which came directly off a counter attack.

Perez struck again when he one-timed a header on a cross from Tyrone Pitter in the 26th minute.

At that point, Paramount was up 2-0 and West Ranch had yet to put a shot on frame.

“They’re a very skilled team,” McGinn said of Paramount. “Technically, they’re a very good team with how they move the ball.”

After Tumasone’s goal, it was a different game.

Wildcats midfielders applied better pressure and started finding ways to keep possession of the ball.

There weren’t enough possessions to tie it up though.

Paramount has now eliminated a Foothill League team three straight years in the playoffs.

“Of course we wanted to keep going because it’s a great feeling,” McGinn said. “I couldn’t be happier with these guys and how they played.”

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