Nordhoff won its first-ever CIF-Southern Section championship in boys’ soccer last week. They have also claimed three consecutive Frontier League titles. (photo by Ashley Wilson)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After winning Nordhoff’s first-ever CIF-Southern Section title in boys’ soccer last Saturday, the Rangers were selected to take part in the CIF Southern California Division III tournament. In their first-round game, NHS faced a tough Sun Valley team and lost on penalty kicks.
The Rangers trailed 3-1 late in the game, but fought back to tie the game at 3-3. Head coach Robert Garcia said, “We thought we were the better team, but we had to play shorthanded after Conor Daly got his second yellow card. Our boys really played hard and fought back, but we lost a lot of steam late in the game because we were down a player.”
According to Garcia, the second call on Daly was a questionable one based on the physical style of play by both teams. “I have to stand up for my player and say that I thought the second call was not a good one. I felt bad for him and really think we would have pulled it off with him in the game.”
Despite the loss against Sun Valley, Garcia and company are not losing sight of the fact they had an amazing season. He added, “I woke up this morning and just thanked God for allowing me to finally win a CIF title. I am so happy for the boys and the school and the boys did not want this to end. When we were getting off the bus after our last game, they asked if we could still practice the next day. I think that says a lot about those kids.”
This season got off to a rocky start for the Rangers, who lost two key starters during the season due to academic issues. Without them, it took NHS some time to find its groove. “Losing those early games was hard but we just kept our heads up and then once league rolled around, we started playing well,” added Garcia.
This season, Nordhoff faced the following schools during the regular season: Buena (loss), Carpinteria (loss), Ventura (loss), Oxnard (loss), Rio Mesa (loss), Pacifica (loss), Camarillo (loss), Fillmore (loss), Oaks Christian (loss), Rio Mesa (loss), Palmdale (loss), Cabrillo (loss), Santa Clara (win), Grace Brethren (win), Villanova Prep (win), St. Bonaventure (win), Bishop Diego (loss), Santa Clara (win), Grace Brethren (win), Villanova Prep (win), St. Bonaventure (win), and Bishop Diego (win). In the postseason, the Rangers caught fire and faced: AGBU (10-0 win), Saint Monica (5-1 win), Southlands Christian (9-1 win), Sierra Canyon (3-0 win), and Vistamar (3-0 win).
Nordhoff was so dominant during their championship run that they outscored their opponents 30-2 en route to their CIF-SS crown.
|NORDHOFF IN THE PLAYOFFS|
| The Rangers outscored their opponents 30-2 en route to their first-ever CIF-SS title.
The final scores were: AGBU (10-0), Saint Monica (5-1), Southlands Christian (9-1), Sierra Canyon
(3-0), and Vistamar (3-0).
When asked what he wanted the Ojai community to know about this year’s championship team, Garcia said, “I want the Ojai Valley to remember this team and to realize how they went through ups-and-downs to get to the title. This team knew they could be good and they went out and earned the school’s first ever title. In my heart, I know this is one of the best, if not the best, soccer team to ever come out of the Ojai Valley and I want people to know that.“
The postseason accolades are sure pile up for the Rangers in the days to come, but Garcia noted that Oscar Ortiz was named the Frontier League’s Goalkeeper of the Year while Augie Andrade was the Frontier League Defensive MVP and Daly was the Frontier League Offensive Player of the Year.
Nordhoff High School soccer team roster
Coaches: Robert Garcia, Juan Maya and Cesar Gonzalez
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