JSerra Boys Soccer Strikes After Lightning Delay, Shuts Out Sunny Hills for Division 1 Title Recreation Redemption

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LONG BEACH – Lightning struck twice for the JSerra boys soccer staff en path to redemptive championship gold on Saturday, Feb. 25.

After the primary half was paused for a 45-minute lightning delay, the top-seeded Lions scored twice within the first two minutes after the restart to shock Sunny Hills, 2-0, and seize the CIF-SS Division 1 championship at Veterans Stadium in Lengthy Seashore.

JSerra performed in its second consecutive CIF-SS Remaining, after shedding the Division 1 title to Trinity League rival Servite final season. This 12 months, the Trinity League champion Lions dominated the Division 1 area because the No. 1 seed to seize this system’s second CIF-SS championship. JSerra final received in its first CIF-SS Remaining in 2010.

“It’s such resilience,” JSerra coach Erik Kirsch mentioned. “We wrote a tradition code, and people are tradition champions. That’s the distinction this 12 months. We had lots of guys that purchased into one another, whatever the high-performance guys. This group realized we’re going want just a little greater than good gamers and good efficiency. We’re going to want guys which are so tight.”

JSerra (17-1-1) relied on that tight bond to take care of its focus popping out of the climate delay and to show away a stiff Sunny Hills problem within the second half.

“It took lots of braveness,” JSerra senior captain Keenai Braun mentioned. “I’m past blessed, past completely happy. I knew that this 12 months, this was the 12 months we’d come again and win all of it.”

JSerra dictated the sport from the opening kickoff and earned 5 nook kicks within the first 23 minutes, which resulted in loads of stress however no objectives.

The sport was stopped on the thirtieth minute, as lightning was seen within the space, and after a 45-minute delay, JSerra instantly started working.

Play resumed with an extended throw-in from the Lions that bounced off a Sunny Hills defender within the field and proper into the trail of sophomore Angel Reyes, who zinged the ball to the far nook to place JSerra forward, 1-0.

Two minutes later, sophomore Tanner Casey cashed in on a feed from Nathan Aquino to place JSerra forward by two and go away Sunny Hills shocked.

“It was a bummer, as a result of we had been in circulation,” Braun mentioned of the lightning delay/. “We needed to win. We gathered our ideas, and acquired again into it.”

JSerra hit the publish a minute later to ship one other scare into the Lancers, however the distinction remained two objectives into halftime.

The second half grew to become a bit extra of a slog, because the depraved Southern California climate whipped into Lengthy Seashore. Heavy rains and robust winds pressured a extra bodily, direct sport on each groups.

Sunny Hills lastly discovered its stride within the sixtieth minute and introduced waves of stress on JSerra over the ultimate twenty minutes.

Sunny Hills’ greatest probability got here with 4 minutes remaining on a nook kick that JSerra simply couldn’t clear from the field. Nevertheless, the Lions stepped up for block after scrambling block, and goalkeeper Noah Nesson pounced on a sequence-ending save to take care of the shutout and clinch the CIF-SS title.

“It feels nice,” mentioned senior captain Sidney Dina holding the championship plaque postgame. “Realizing that final 12 months it was snagged from us. Holding it now, it feels so good.”

JSerra nonetheless has mountains to climb, because the CIF Southern California Regional championships start subsequent week. The brackets can be launched on Sunday, Feb. 26.

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