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Wildcats win first ever

Wildcats move on to play third-seeded Montclair on Friday in first round

Posted: February 19, 2009 1:42 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch's Pablo Morales (22) hugs teammate Sergio Torres after Torres' goal in the second half.

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West Ranch boys soccer moved forward in the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs with a 4-1 win against Cabrillo of Lompoc in the wild-card round Wednesday.

It was the first playoff win in West ranch boys soccer history.

The Wildcats got a pair of first-half goals from midfielder Cameron Nelson to open a 2-0 halftime lead.

Nelson’s second score came when he knocked home a cross from captain Steven Delgado.

“I think we came in with a good momentum, which is nice to have,” said West Ranch head coach Mo Burgess. “We came out confident, and I think that helped us to be able to come out and get the lead.”

The Conquistadores (8-11-1, 6-4-0) cut into the West Ranch lead (10-6-6, 4-3-3) early in the second half when junior forward Twenty Vasquez snuck a shot past goalkeeper Billy Morales.

“It was nice to get to score in a playoff game, but I just don’t think we played fast enough overall,” Vasquez said. “We made some dumb mistakes, and we weren’t as well prepared as we needed to be to beat a team that plays that well.”

After Cabrillo cut the Wildcat lead in half, both teams battled around midfield until striker Sergio Torres squeaked a score into the net to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

“Overall we were able to control field position, but for a stretch we were looking to get that third goal. When Torres knocked it home it really helped us relax since we were up by two,” Burgess said.

Despite losing senior fullback Colin Amsler in the first half to an ankle injury, West Ranch was in control most of the game.

Amsler, a team captain, was not able to return in the second half, but he was capable of jogging on the sideline and is probable for the Wildcats second round game.

“I hope (West Ranch) goes far in the playoffs,” Vasquez said. “They played a good game, and they did what we couldn’t do today. I thought we had some good crosses, but it just wasn’t quite enough.”

West Ranch iced the game with a goal from midfielder Felipe Restrepo to stretch its lead to three.

It will take another strong team effort for West Ranch to win its next game. The Wildcats are slated to take on 20-1-2 Montclair Friday.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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