Ever since midseason, the Freedom boys soccer team has been knocking on the door of its first-ever berth in the North Coast Section playoffs. In its season finale Feb. 7 against Deer Valley, the door got busted down in a 2-0 victory over the Wolverines. “It’s big,” said Freedom head coach Sal Acevedo. “The boys came out, they understood what was at stake, and they performed.” Senior midfielder Jorge Cendejas put Freedom (12-9-2, 6-3-1 in the Bay Valley Athletic League) on top 1-0 in the 23rd minute, and assisted on the second goal by senior Juan Rondan in the 66th minute to help the Falcons secure the victory. “We’ve set this goal since day one,”Acevedo said. “We are very excited.” Deer Valley (9-8-4, 5-3-2) nearly broke through in the 20th, 33rd and 52nd minutes, but all three times goalkeeper Chris Contreras rejected the shots. The senior notched seven saves. Despite the loss, Deer Valley head coach Juan Tannus is confident in his team’s play heading into the playoffs. “We’re playing well,” Tannus said. ”We need to learn to finish, but we’re working on it. We’re improving little by little, but now we’ve got to improve faster because it’s getting into the playoffs.” While the Falcons’ victory over Deer Valley was their fourth straight, helping them secure a second-place finish in the BVAL, the players were elated Sunday when they learned they’d secured a spot in the NCS playoffs with fellow BVAL boys teams Deer Valley and Antioch. The Freedom, Liberty, Deer Valley and Heritage girls teams also made the grade. “We want to continue to make history,” Acevedo said. Freedom drew a No. 12 seed Sunday when the brackets were announced. The Falcons played No. 5 seed Berkeley. Antioch (9-5-5, 5-3-2), which finished fourth in the BVAL, was seeded 15th, and played No. 2 Monte Vista. Deer Valley (9-8-4, 5-3-2) was not rewarded by the NCS despite finishing third in the BVAL. As the No. 16 seed, the Wolverines played No. 1 seed De La Salle. The Heritage girls soccer team, which won the BVAL with an overall record of 12-4-3, were seeded 11th. The Patriots played No. 6 seed College Park. Freedom, the No. 12 seed, played No. 5 Amador Valley. Deer Valley, which finished third in the BVAL, was seeded 15th, and battled Monte Vista. The only other BVAL girls team to make the playoffs was Liberty as the No. 16 seed. The Lions played San Ramon Valley, which entered the match as the No. 1 seed with a record of 16-0-5 out of the East Bay Athletic League. All games were scheduled to be played Wednesday.Update
No. 12 Freedom 3, No. 5 Berkeley 0
In its first-ever berth in the North Coast Section playoffs, the Freedom boys soccer team scored a huge upset over Berkeley. Senior midfielder Jorge Cendejas scored two goals, and assisted on another by senior Raul Lopez in the 33rd minute to help the Falcons take the victory. Freedom goalkeeper Chris Contreras secured the victory with 10 saves. With the win, the Falcons will play at play No. 4 Pittsburg in Saturday’s quarterfinals at 7 p.m.
No. 2 Monte Vista 3, No. 15 Antioch 0
Antioch (9-6-5), which finished fourth in the BVAL, was overcome by the Mustangs. A penalty kick and goal by Jeff Greenberg, and another goal by Cole Kunsman was all Monte Vista needed to send the Panthers home for the season.
No. 1 De La Salle defeats No. 16 Deer Valley
No. 16 Deer Valley battled No. 1 De La Salle to the finish, but the Spartans prevailed 5-4 in the penalty kick shootout after the teams played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime.
No. 6 College Park defeats No. 11 Heritage
No. 11 Heritage, which won the Bay Valley Athletic League championship, fell to No. 6 College Park 4-3 in the penalty kick shootout after the teams played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. The Patriots lone goal came from Chrissy Trujillo in the 53rd minute on an assist by sophomore Demi Goins. Jamie Baron, Brianna Baskerville-Bridges and Viviana Diaz all scored during the shootout, but were outdone by Mary Stammers, Jacky Scharff, Dominike Tambazidis and Brianna Gonzalez for College Park. Junior Sachi Bonham finished with seven saves for Heritage in defeat. The Patriots end their season 12-4-4.
No. 12 Freedom 2, No. 5 Amador Valley 1
Freedom picked up goals from Brielynn Tovani and Sierra Torrano to shock the dons. The Falcons will play at No. 4 Castro Valley in Saturday’s quarterfinals at 7 p.m.
No. 2 Monte Vista 6, No. 15 Deer Valley 0
Deer Valley (7-7-6), which finished third in the BVAL, struggled against the Mustangs. Three goals by Ashlyn Goerz, two by Alex Weltz and another by Dana Outcalt was too much for Deer Valley to overcome.
No. 1 San Ramon Valley 3, No. 16 Liberty 0
Liberty (7-9-4) never found its footing despite a big performance by senior goalkeeper Gabby Ciccolella, who finished with 10 saves in the loss. San Ramon Valley’s MaKenna Kummer, Megan Turner and Morgan Idso all scored in the win.