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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Los Osos boys soccer team beats Etiwanda, remains unbeaten in Baseline League

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Los Osos boys soccer program has finished second in the Baseline League standings five times over the past eight years. The Grizzlies appear ready to return to the penthouse this season.

Senior midfielder Andres Martinez registered a hat trick as Los Osos walked away with a 3-1 home victory over Etiwanda on Tuesday, an important step toward securing the program’s first league title since 2013.

Los Osos (11-1-2, 7-0 in league) needs only one victory over its final three matches to clinch at least a share of the title. The Grizzlies host Damien on Friday and head to Upland and Chino Hills next week.

“We have been knocking on that door, and there have been some close calls and real heartbreakers,” Los Osos coach Gerard Solorzano said. “I really believe this team has that extra gear. I love all of my other teams, but there is something in the eyes of these players that show me they want this one really bad.”

Martinez nearly gave Los Osos a lead during the 15th minute, when he rounded the goalkeeper near the top of the box. Martinez had to take an extra touch to regain control and by the time he uncorked a shot, Etiwanda defender Kayden Montgomery had positioned himself on the near post and deflected the ball out for a corner kick.

Four minutes later, Luis De Anda won a scramble in the box and was brought down in the penalty area as he turned toward the goal. Martinez stepped to the spot and drilled the ball into the lower corner of the net. Martinez doubled the lead in the 29th minute, as a glancing header rolled off the post and in for a goal.

“I didn’t get that first one, but I didn’t let it get me down,” Martinez said. “I knew there would be more opportunities for us, and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. I just kept going and pushing.”

Etiwanda (10-4-3, 4-2-1) was the benefactor of a fortunate bounce at the beginning of the second half. Diego Garcia redirected a shot into the air, and the ball appeared to be headed well over the crossbar. But a gust of wind caused the ball to hit the bar, and Jacob White knocked in the rebound to halt the deficit.

Martinez completed his hat trick with a brilliant sequence in the 68th minute. Martinez was played up the left side of the pitch but instead of taking an immediate touch, he moved around the ball and then continue his run. Martinez beat another defender and then unleashed a driving shot inside the far post.

“He creates so many chances. He truly is a special player,” Solorzano said. “He shows that in big games like this. He is coming alive at the right time.”

Martinez said he and his teammates will keep the same intensity over the final three league matches.

“My first three years on varsity, we finished second, and that’s not a feeling we want to have again,” Martinez said. “We’re as close as we’ve been. We just need to take the final steps to make it happen.”

World Nation News Desk
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