Boys soccer: Sonoma Valley edges Analy 1-0

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma Valley's Bryan Ruiz, right, pushes off Analy's Luis Corona during Thursday's match in Sonoma.

Sonoma Valley’s Bryan Ruiz, right, pushes off Analy’s Luis Corona during Thursday’s match in Sonoma.

SONOMA — Sonoma Valley got a goal from an unlikely source in the second overtime Thursday to beat Analy, 1-0, and as a result the two schools finish the regular season as Sonoma County League co-champions.

Miguel Guillen, who had only one goal to his credit this season, was the hero. His scoring kick with five minutes left on the clock was the difference.

Analy came into the game with a 12-1 league record and a win or a tie would’ve given them the crown outright. The Dragons, with an 11-2 mark, needed a win to share the title.

By his own admission, Guillen just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“I didn’t think I’d be the one getting the shot,” the senior said. “I was in front of the net when Anthony Garcia crossed the ball in. The ball was right at Sam Sondheim’s feet and I was alongside him.

“I thought Sondheim was going to kick it, but he didn’t. The ball bounced over to me and I booted it in with my right foot. I just reacted.”

Staked to a lead, the Sonoma defense successfully kept Analy from getting a good shot in the waning minutes.

The final whistle set off a celebration that saw coach Pedro Merino get the contents of a water cooler emptied on his head.

“The kids delivered,” a soaked Merino said. “It was a well-played game, one of our best efforts.”

Both teams had excellent scoring chances but the keepers were up to the task. Angel Garcia was in goal for Sonoma and Omar Coronel was in net for the Tigers.

“It was fitting that we tied Analy for the title in the last game of the season,” Merino said. “It was four or five years ago that they did it to us. We went to their place with a one-game lead and they beat us to get a share of the crown.

“This one is special. Our team is made up of Sonoma boys that love to play soccer. We only have one guy that plays for a club. These kids play hard and it paid off for them.”

Sonoma’s overall record is 14-6-1 while the Tigers are 17-2-1.

Both teams will receive invitations to the North Coast Section Tournament. Pairings will be announced Sunday.

This marks the fourth year in a row that Analy has won or shared the league title.

“We’re proud of that,” coach Peter Meechan said. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs.

“I thought we could’ve played better, but the guys did all right. It’s always tough playing in Sonoma. They deserved it.”

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