By MAKENA VOLZING, LEIGH
March 5, 2013
The Archbishop Mitty Monarchs and the Lincoln Lions battled it out early Saturday morning for the CCS Division I Championship title. In the end however, Mitty walked away with the trophy, dominating the game, 2-0. The Monarchs finished the season at 17-1-8; Lincoln dropped to 9-7-6.
“Today we faced a team that was very good, and we did the same routine we do every game: keep tight in the back, try to control the middle, and keep possession," Mitty coach Cesar Sanchez said. "It was a great game.”
The first half was mostly quiet from both teams until the 22nd minute when the ball bounced over the Lincoln goalie's head, leaving the goal empty for a short tap in by Mitty forward Tanner Haas.
A penalty kick five minutes into the second half then allowed Mitty senior and captain Connor Kurze to score the Monarchs' second goal of the match. The goal was set up on a brilliant run by Eric Espinoza, who had a great match in the center of the Mitty midfield. Kurze was clearly fouled inside the penalty box and then finished with a shot into the lower right corner to make it 2-0.
“We knew they were a tough team so we just wanted to come out and play our game,” said Kurze. “We just worked hard.”
The win for Mitty came down its clean passing and relentlessness on the ball. Midfielder Shane Luna did a great job winning balls in the center of the field and Lincoln struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. The Lions mostly relied on the powerful foot of back ring wing Fernando Mendez to move the ball up field, but still missed were able to make contact with the net. Towards the end of the second half, Mitty upped up its defensive game to preserve the 2-0 lead by passing the ball effectively.
Mitty goalkeeper Ryan Foo acted as a closer late in the game by coming off his line aggressively to punch balls out of his penalty area.