Cabrillo is bringing home the first CIF Southern Section championship plaque in school history–it’s just not the color they were hoping for, as they raised a silver plaque, and not a gold one. The Jaguars came up short in an evenly-matched game against Arlington in the CIF-SS Division 2 championship game at Warren, falling 1-0.
“We didn’t play our best game today,” said Cabrillo coach Pat Noyes. “We missed passes we’ve been connecting on all year and we didn’t shoot enough. It’s a cruel sport sometimes, the ball bounces the wrong way.”
That was literally the case in the 31st minute, when the ball was bouncing in Cabrillo’s box. As Alexis Torres was preparing to receive the ball with his chest, it spun sideways off the turf and hopped up into his hand, earning a PK for Arlington which was buried by Gustavo Aguilera for the game-winner.
“It just skipped sideways, I wasn’t expecting it,” said Torres.
Besides that once unlucky bounce and the goal the followed, the game was even. Both teams had four shots in the first half, and the Jaguars outshot the Lions 8-6 in the game, as Arlington sat back and defended in the second half. Their defense was well-organized and stifling, and the Jaguars couldn’t get much bite even on set pieces.
“They did a great job of staying between us and the goal, they defended really well,” said Noyes.
The Jaguars got a few chances, as Leonardo Corona had a run at the goal late in the game that didn’t result in a shot, and Jonny Riquer made Arlington fans nervous with a few free kick opportunities.
In the end, it never amounted to a goal.
“It’s my favorite game in the world, but it’s brutal sometimes,” said Noyes.
The game didn’t go Cabrillo’s way, but the stands were filled with Jaguars fans, something the players and coaches said was appreciated.
“We could feel the love of the city behind us,” said Arnold Giron.
The Jaguars will be in next week’s state playoffs, and are the first Cabrillo team to qualify for a state tournament in any sport. The brackets will be released Sunday evening.