Lakewood Soccer

PREVIEW: Lakewood Boys’ Soccer In CIF SoCal Regional Final Today

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

This has been a historic season for Lakewood boys’ soccer and it will end either way in the CIF SoCal Regional Division IV Final today at Oceanside. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Within the last month, the Lancers (17-4-6) won their first CIF Southern Section playoff game since 2016, reached their first quarterfinals since 1985, and qualified for their first CIF State tournament in program history.

“It feels great to make history,” said Lakewood senior defender Angelo Funes. “We care a lot. The whole team and everybody keeps talking about it. We have teachers at school telling us about it. It’s so cool that people care.”

Funes and the rest of the Lakewood defense has been fantastic this postseason while only giving up one goal in the last five games.

READ MORE about how Funes took his opportunities in his soccer career.

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This Final will be a battle of solid defending. Oceanside (18-1-4) is the champion of CIF San Diego Section Division II and hasn’t allowed a goal since January in a league draw. The Pirates have outscored their opponents 52-10 this season while feeding off the counter attack.

Lakewood and its dynamic duo up top of Michael Gutierrez and Jonathan Romero will have to find channels to run down against the Oceanside defense in order to make the patented Lacker press worth the effort.

Romero scored the golden goal in the CIF SoCal Regional semifinal, and Gutierrez has scored six goals in seven postseason games.

READ MORE about how Gutierrez learned to be an aggressive striker.

If Lakewood wins it will be the first CIF State title for the school since girls’ volleyball in 2007.

CLICK HERE for more Lakewood soccer coverage throughout the playoffs.

CIF State Boys’ Soccer: Romero’s Golden Goal Lifts Lakewood to Regional Final
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.