skip to main content
Boys Soccer Makes History with Quarterfinal Appearance
Posted On:
Friday, February 24, 2012
Pioneer Valley Panther Josh Cortez fights for the ball in a 2-0 loss to Colton High during a CIF playoff quarterfinal game at Pioneer Valley.  Photo by Daniel Dreifuss/SM Times
Pioneer Valley Panther Josh Cortez fights for the ball in a 2-0 loss to Colton High during a CIF playoff quarterfinal game at Pioneer Valley. Photo by Daniel Dreifuss/SM Times

Coming into Tuesday’s game against the Colton High Yellowjackets, Pioneer Valley’s boys soccer team already made it farther than any other team in school history with its run to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

However, despite the fiercest of efforts, the Panthers’ season came to an end as they fell 2-0 to the Yellowjackets Thursday at Pioneer Valley High School.

“It’s the quarterfinals, so everybody knows eachother’s strengths and weaknesses,” Pioneer Valley head coach Humberto Robles said. “They finished the opportunities and we didn’t — That was the difference.”

The Panthers were the last Central Coast boys soccer team standing.

Early on, neither team was able to gain momentum. Both teams had opportunities to score and strike first, but shots either sailed high or were stopped by the goalies.

The game was tied at 0-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the game turned as Colton began to make plays.

First in the 43rd minute, Colton’s Cesar Barajas fought off multiple Pioneer Valley defenders and shot one past the outstretched hands of Pioneer Valley goalie Miguel Mendez to put Colton up 1-0.

The Panthers had a chance to respond a minute later when Josh Cortez let loose a rocket from twenty yards out, however, the kick sailed right into the hands of Yellowjackets goalie Kenny Koperski, ending the Panthers’ opportunity.

Koperski finished the game with six saves to help his team to a win.

“Hands down to my goalie, he kept the team alive when the Panthers were attacking us,” Colton head coach Armando Ponce said. “That helped us get out of the rut — he basically saved the game for us — without him we would have lost.”

Pioneer Valley had three more shots on the Colton goal, but weren’t able to convert any of the goals to tie the game.

Up 1-0 in the 79th minute, Yellow Jacket Ernesto Alcala put on a dazzling display of moves while bouncing the ball of his chest to get behind the Panther defenders and pull the goalie Mendez out. He got by Mendez and scored to put his team ahead 2-0, a score which would seal the victory.

Mendez did end the game with three saves.

Pioneer Valley desperately tried to get back in the game, but there was not enough time left as Colton employed a tight defensive formation in the final minutes.

The loss ends Pioneer Valley’s journey in the playoffs and sent the Yellowjackets into the semifinals.

“It’s the CIF Playoffs and it’s all about heart and stamina,” Ponce said. “Coming out to anybody’s home is tough, considering they have steam from beating the number two seed.

“I think it was just a matter of my boys showing up to play. A lot of my boys are seniors and I told them don’t live your life with regrets and make sure you can go home and you can tell your family and friends that we made it to the semifinals.”

Despite the loss, coach Robles was proud of how his team played all year long.

“Overall it was a great season,” he said. “I’ve been head coach for the varsity team for five years and this is the first time that we made it to the quarterfinals.

“This was big for us to get here.”

By Chris Aguirre, Sports Writer / Santa Maria Times / February 24, 2012

View all Spotlights
Barrueta Named as Horatio Alger Scholarship Winner Cisneros Heading to Stanford Letona Robles Yale-Bound McKee Receives SELPA-Bration Award Magni Accepts South Dakota Offer McKee Honored
Stieger Named Technology TOSA of the Year Drum Major Geronimo Shines Eckardt is Teacher of the Year Carandang Featured as Senior Spotlight Pinedo-Tovar Exemplifies Moral Character SM Times Highlights Morin Ellsworth Selected as HOBY Ambassador Guerra Receives Teacher of Excellence Award Equihua Receives Lots of Great News Castro Honored with Meritorious Service Award Salgado Represents PVHS in Boston Vargas Highlighted by Sun Ilac Receives Honor Smith Named Varsity Baseball Coach Rivas to Sign for Waldorf College Barrera Holds State Title Perez Signs with ASCAP Placencia First to be Honored at State Science Fair Vasquez to Serve as Regional Sentinel Howard to be Honored as Outstanding Career Tech Educator Jones Selected to LCCN First Team Congratulations Ms. Walters Freshman Neal Awarded Letterman's Jacket Gomez to Become a Red Raider Mr. McKee Recognized for His Work with Individuals with Disabilities Soccer Standout Brafman to Represent Brazil in Israeli Games Cervantes a State Champion DJ Claborn Elected in South Coast Region Harvard Bound PV Science Teacher Competes in Russia Foreign Exchange Highlights Belgium Carandang Receives DAR Award Ramirez Receives NMSC Commendation Bautista to Wrestle in Georgia English Teacher Spaht Recognized by CABE PVHS Teachers Honored Cabanas Making a Difference Scanelli Gets Real Life Experience as Volunteer Educators Honored at Annual Celebration Felix-Villarreal to Attend Leaders Conference Barrett No Longer "Wrestling" with College Choice - Will Attend King University Apple Receives Prestigious Award PV Has Second Two-Time All American Barrett Headed for National Tournament Class of 2014 Grad Featured in News-Press Mansera One of Leading Backs in Area Skyler Debuts First Single During Lunchtime Rally Ysip Takes the Stage Chelsea Dionisio Signs to Attend Jamestown University Police Explorers Garner Third Place In Competition Lady Wrestlers Sign Letters to Attend University of the Cumberlands Tell Selected as SM Times All-Area MVP Zaragoza Hits Her Way to Win Athlete of the Week Tompkins Finishes Season with NSBCART Award Ruiz Wrestles to Win Athlete of the Week Award Dulay Named Female Athlete of the Week Chasing the Golden Trifecta Isabelle Rodriguez is Female Athlete of the Week PV Takes Two at Round Table Girls Wrestler Barret Selected as NSBCART Female Athlete of the Week Boys of the Gridiron: Chris Carter Zambrano Receives Distinguished New Educator Award English Teacher, Mr. Ostini, Receives Grant Eduardo Cortes wins Poetry Contest Round Table 2012-2013 - Week 1 Tuba Player to Join Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corp This Summer Three Sport Athlete Headed for UCLA Sophomore Wins Local Speech Contest Minerva Club Names Scholarship Winners College Acceptances for Class of 2012 Athletic Roundtable 5-7-12 Athletic Roundtable 4-30-12 Gates Millenium 2012 Scholars Named Athletic Roundtable 4-23-12 PVHS Science Teacher Wins Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators Athletic Roundtable 4-16-12 Recognizes Wrestling All-Americans Athletic Roundtable 4-2-12 Velasco Named as New Girls Soccer Coach Athletic Roundtable 3-26-12 Robles Named to Division 5 All-CIF Team New Coaches Take the Fields Athletic Roundtable 3-19-12 Science in Action Project Funded Language Teacher to Study in Spain International Languages Department Member wins Outstanding Teacher Award International Languages Teacher to Present at National Conference Athletic Roundtable 3-12-12 PV Tennis Player to Attend CSU Bakersfield PVHS Science Teacher Finalist for Teacher of the Year Athletic Roundtable 3-5-12 Dance Off! Athletic Roundtable 2-27-12 Boys Soccer Makes History with Quarterfinal Appearance Felix Notches Lone Goal in PV Win Marin Strikes Gold for the Panthers Poetry Out Loud Contest has PVHS Winner PVHS Student a Teen Star Finalist Panthers Take Bite out of Eagles Wild Night of Wrestling Torres Attacks Her Goals