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Lakewood Soccer

CIF Boys’ Soccer: Lakewood In Quarterfinals For First Time Since 1985

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Lakewood boys’ soccer hasn’t put the pen down since writing history on Wednesday in its first playoff win in almost a decade.

The Lancers hosted Victor Valley on Friday afternoon and used an energetic start to propel them to a 2-1 victory in the second round of CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

Lakewood will host Knight on Tuesday in its first quarterfinals appearance since 1985. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

“It’s amazing man,” said Lakewood coach Alex Diaz. “These guys have put into their own goals. We talked in the beginning of the year and this was one of our goals to go all the way and we’ve just been taking it game by game and we’ll see where it goes. But I’m really proud of the boys and I’m excited for Tuesday.”

It didn’t take long for the Lancers to find the back of the net as a third minute counter attack set up the opening goal. Alan Gonzalez got the ball for Lakewood after a shot attempt from the Jackrabbits, and immediately pushed Lakewood’s attack down the field. Just four touches later Michael Gutierrez found himself alone to drill a left-footed shot into the far side netting and  give the Lancers a 1-0 lead.

“(Gutierrez) has been big for us,” said Diaz. “Our two guys up top have been big just with their presence and putting pressure on the other team. It was a great counter and a great defense coming out on the back to counter quickly and move forward quickly. (Gutierrez’s) goal was a great way to start the game.”

“When I scored I think I got my energy up and it pumped up all my teammates,” said Gutierrez. “That’s where all the energy came from and we were able to stay energized.”

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Lakewood continued to get solid looks at the goal early in the half, leaving no breathing room for the Victor Valley defense. Eventually the Lancers were able to break through once again in the 28th minute when Brian Pioquinto pounced on a bad pass and bounced the ball in off the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.

Lakewood played dominant defense all night, but the first shot from Victor Valley went in when Dante Celis also took advantage of a turnover and scored in the 39th minute. Lakewood led 2-1 at halftime.

“The message at half was that we were still winning,” said Diaz. “We’ve done it against good teams, some really good teams in our league. So just coming out we want to come out and get a shutout. All we said was just get a shutout this half and you win the game. I don’t need you to score, just be compact, be organized, and stay disciplined to do what you do best.”

The Lancers did just that in the second half, playing a boring final forty minutes which was exactly what they needed to do in order for them to ride out with their lead.

Lakewood (12-3-6) now looks to Knight (9-7-5) with a trip to the semifinals on the line.

VIDEO: Lakewood vs. Victor Valley, CIF Boys’ Soccer
PHOTOS: Lakewood vs. Victor Valley, CIF Boys’ Soccer
Eli Aquino
Eli Aquino is a high school student with plenty of writing and technology skills. He has a healthy knowledge and passion for sports and looks to take on journalism as a future career.