No. 12 Freedom 3, No. 5 Berkeley 0
Freedom 2, No. 4 Pittsburg 0
No. 1 De La Salle 4, Freedom 0
The Freedom boys soccer team entered Tuesday’s North Coast Section semifinal against De La Salle on a cloud.
But the Spartans brought them back to earth.
Freedom’s first-ever appearance in the NCS ended last night in a 4-0 loss to top-seeded De La Salle in Concord.
“No matter how this game went, and we are all hurt and suffering inside, nothing can take away the fantastic season that we had,” said Freedom head coach Sal Acevedo. “We made history, and the boys fought as hard as they could. I couldn’t ask for anything more from these guys. They finished with dignity.”
Riding a six-game consecutive shutout streak, Freedom goalkeeper Chris Contreras fought off several early scoring attempts by the Spartans, but De La Salle finally broke through in the 20th minute on a header by senior Jack Karlesking.
From there, things got only worse for No. 12 Freedom, which entered the game after upsetting No. 5 Berkeley and No. 4 Pittsburg.
Sophomore Thomas Lisiak doubled the Spartans’ lead in the 32nd minute when he drilled one past Contreras at close range. De La Salle put the game away with goals by sophomore Joey Jones in the 47th minute and senior Nic Bob in the 61st minute.
Freedom’s Jorge Cendejas, who scored 25 of the team’s 62 goals this season, was held quiet by the aggressive De La Salle squad. Spartans goalkeeper Andrew Konstantino finished with only one save in the game.
“It was a long ride,” Contreras said of the team’s playoff run. “Our motto was ‘nothing less than NCS,’ and we got here. Unfortunately, it’s not the result we wanted, but we had a heck of a season.”
Freedom, which earned second place in the Bay Valley Athletic League, finishes its season 14-10-2.
Although Freedom loses Contreras and Cendejas to graduation, Acevedo believes the Falcons are primed for another NCS run next year.
“We made history by making it to NCS this year, and we expect to make it back here the next,” Acevedo said. “We want to make a habit of this. We’re building a program that’s targeting being here every year.”
The Spartans will seek their fifth straight NCS Division I championship when they play No. 6 San Ramon Valley Saturday in a rematch of last year’s title game.
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. Despite the loss, Antioch head coach Eugenio Sanchez expressed pride in the way his team played this season. “They’re a very polite, courteous group of guys,” Sanchez said. “We came together as a team, and I had a good time coaching them.”
No. 1 De La Salle defeats No. 16 Deer Valley
Deer Valley (9-8-4) battled De La Salle (15-3-5) 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. “I couldn’t be prouder,” said Deer Valley head coach Juan Tannus. “It was amazing what they did. They put their heart out there, and did the best they could.”
No. 12 Freedom 2, No. 5 Amador Valley 1
No. 4 Castro Valley 2, Freedom 1
Freedom (12-4-4), which finished second in the Bay Valley Athletic League, picked up goals from Brielynn Tovani and Sierra Torrano to shock the Dons Feb. 13, but came up short in a 2-1 loss at Castro Valley last Saturday.
No. 6 College Park defeats No. 11 Heritage
Heritage, which won the BVAL championship, fell to 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. “The season was never based on the end result,” said head coach Randy James, “but the manner in which we practiced and played each day.”
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 were too much for Deer Valley to overcome.
Despite the loss, Deer Valley head coach Juan Martin believes his team has a bright future.
"Deer Valley will be a huge BVAL contender for the next one or two years to come," Martin said. "Just wait and see."
No. 1 San Ramon Valley 3, No. 16 Liberty 0
Liberty (9-10-5) never found its footing despite a big performance by senior goalkeeper Gabby Ciccolella, who made 10 saves in the loss. Scoring for San Ramon Valley were MaKenna Kummer, Megan Turner and Morgan Idso.