78th minute goal pushes boys soccer into the second round of playoffs


Midfielder senior Brandon Toledo (center) dribbles through a pair of Laguna Hills defenders during Sunny Hills’ 2-1 victory over Laguna Hills Feb. 12 at the Sunny Hills field. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Update: This story was updated Feb. 14 at 12:50 p.m. to change the next round from quarterfinals to second round.

In a tense match between Sunny Hills and Laguna Hills, the Lancer boys soccer team emerged victorious 2-1 in its CIF-Southern Section Division 2 first round matchup Feb. 12 at the Sunny Hills field.

“That was a tough one, we did it the hard way. We were at a one-to-nothing lead from a great goal early on by [forward junior Gabriel] Diaz,” head coach Mike Schade said. “We had to let them tie it up and put some pressure on us but a pretty goal over all, we just lost some rhythm at times.”

Defender junior Zachary Miramontes’ header off of midfielder sophomore Kevin Meza’s corner kick in the 78th minute of play put the Lancers (13-5-4, 7-3 Freeway League) ahead for good after the Hawks’ (9-12-2, 4-4 Sea View League) forward senior Marcus Daniel tied up the game at one just eight minutes prior.

“Getting to score felt good because we went up ahead and into the second round,” Miramontes said. “This could have been the last game for the seniors on the team, so it felt good to be able to play on.”

Diaz’s right-footed shot in the 27th minute put Sunny Hills up 1-0..

The win advances the Lancers to the CIF-SS second round as they chase a CIF championship, which would be their first since 2016.

“We’re confident going into the next round,” midfielder junior Dominic Mancia said. “I think there’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but I think we’re riding the line of confidence, so we’re just going to train hard and bring our A-Game.”

The Lancers now turn their attention to their second round match, where they will hit the road to play Saddleback (9-7-5, 5-3-2 Orange Coast League) at Saddleback High School field today.