Three days after losing their first CIF Southern Section championship game in heartbreaking fashion, Cabrillo boys’ soccer bounced back to win the first CIF State Regional Soccer Championship game in school history.
Cabrillo made history again by beating Riverside Poly 4-0 for the second time this month. The Jaguars beat the Bears 3-1 in the CIF-SS semifinal two weeks ago when Arnold Giron scored a hat trick. The Cabrillo sophomore picked right back up where he left off with two goals in the first half on Tuesday.
The Jaguars are one of only three Long Beach soccer programs with a CIF State victory. The Millikan boys’ won a first-round game after winning the 2012 CIF Southern Section title, and the Poly girls’ also won on Tuesday.
Cabrillo coach Pat Noyes has been bring in coaches from around the local area this month, including Long Beach State coach and Beach FC founder Mauricio Ingrassia, to talk with his team about the pressures of the offseason. Noyes said the message has been consistent.
“Whatever happens positive or negative, just move on,” Noyes said. “It’s about being in the moment. There were a couple of guys who were still very upset (after the CIF-SS Final) so yesterday we had a great practice with a lot of shooting and scoring. Then we talked about winning a different ring. Division 2 in State would be just as cool as CIF.”
The Jaguars came out on the front foot on Tuesday, and ended up outshooting Riverside Poly 13-9. In the 11th minute, Giron got his team on the board when he chased down a through ball from Jonny Riquer. He ran though two defenders and beat the goalkeeper to score on an empty net. Giron added his second goal four minutes later on a class top-shelf finish after defensive midfielder Alexis Torres won the ball on the wing.
Torres, who was called for the deciding hand ball in the CIF-SS final, said he was nervous about facing Riverside Poly again, but that his coach gave him the right words of encouragement.
“As Noyes told us, we just had to forget about that game because there’s a new tournament, so we just had to focus on the task at hand,” Torres said. “This feels amazing, but all I’m concentrated on now is winning State.”
Cabrillo played all of its position players off the bench in the second half, and Riquer and Eduardo Mosqueda added the insurance goals just four minutes apart at the hour mark.
The No. 2 Jaguars will host No. 3 San Fernando on Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Division II semifinal.