A 95-minute long lightning delay nearly washed out the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ soccer second round game at Wilson on Tuesday, and although the Bruins outplayed visiting Mira Costa after the extended halftime, they couldn’t find the goal they needed in a 1-0 loss to the No. 2 seeded Mustangs.
“We’re really proud of the boys and what they did because we got after it in the second half and they were on their heels but we just couldn’t put it in the net,” Wilson coach CJ Brewer said. “That was so much fun to watch them play that second half. It was inches from happening.”
Mira Costa outshot Wilson 7-5 in the game and scored the only goal in the 12th minute on a header from Thomas Temperley.
Wilson was able to build some positive momentum after the goal, but the Mustangs were more than willing to foul the Bruins away from goal to cut down any scoring chances.
Mira Costa (15-1-4) was whistled for 17 fouls and three yellow cards. Wilson was whistled for 10 fouls and one yellow.
As the first half came to an end the storm clouds rolled in and a surprising hail storm sent the teams and fans looking for cover. The lightning quickly followed, the stadium lights went out and the fans were cleared from the bleachers while everyone waited for the weather to clear out.
CIF rules dictate that the game can only restart 30 minutes after the last lightning seen, so the clock kept resetting while the lightning continued. The game started at 5 p.m. and the second half didn’t start until after 7:30.
“We were loose during the break,” said Brewer, who let his team shoot hoops in the gym to stay active. “We coached them up a little bit and stayed warm. (In the second half) I felt like we won everything from intensity to possession and shots… we just didn’t win the goals category and that’s what you need.”
Wilson (12-5-4) peppered the Costa Mesa 18-yard box in the second half with free kick service after a slew of Mustang fouls. The Bruins had their best chance to score in the 49th minute when Javier Mota-Villegas’ snap shot was saved by Mira Costa’s goalkeeper Jack Walter.
In the 70th minute, Wilson goalkeeper Gavin Pool-Harris came up to deliver the set piece service from just inside midfield. It found Beck Peterson at the back post but his shot sailed wide. Pool-Harris finished with four saves.
The Bruins even went to a 3-5-2 formation in the second half to turn up the heat on the visitors while the home crowd stayed loud and into the game.
“When (the center referee) blew that whistle for the second half it was like he released lions from a cage, and we were just on this half eating them up,” Brewer said.
Wilson was the last Moore League team alive in the postseason after winning its second league title in the last four years. The Bruins tied a league record with only three goals allowed in league play, and then beat Warren on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
“If you give everything you have towards something it doesn’t matter the result, you should be proud of it, and the boys gave everything they had that second half and they should be proud,” Brewer said. “That mentality is something a lot of teams don’t have. I’m proud this group has the attitude where they’re not scared of anybody.”