SAN JOSE – St. Ignatius opened defense of its CCS Open Division title with a 3-0 win at Overfelt in a first-round boys soccer match Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (15-1-5) advanced to the semifinals where they will face top-seeded Los Gatos, a 1-0 winner over Watsonville. St. Ignatius also clinched a spot in the first-ever NorCal playoffs, which will take place at the conclusion of the CCS playoffs. Overfelt ended its season with a 14-4-2 record.
St. Ignatius scored in the fifth minute off a set piece from the left side. Senior Nicholas Brown delivered the ball and senior Seamus Lucey bodied it in from a few yards out to make it 1-0.
Overfelt strayed from its standard 4-1-3-2 formation, moving left back Andy Barajas to center forward in a 4-5-1 setup. The Royals were held to just four shots on goal as senior Nathan Kushner posted the shutout. Overfelt’s best chance occurred in the 31st minute when Barajas nearly got on the end of a free kick from Rodolfo Pedroza just in front of Kushner, forcing the goalkeeper into a reflex save.
The Wildcats doubled the lead in the 45th minute on a header by senior David Woodruff off a corner kick from the left side from junior Paul Rich. That forced the Royals to chase the match as they shifted to a 4-4-2 midway through the half before finishing the match in a 3-4-3. Paulino Lazaro, Overfelt’s second-leading scorer, was contained well by the Wildcats, who did not concede a shot to the senior.
Overfelt’s best chance to cut into the lead was in the 65th minute when Pedroza, the player of the year in the BVAL-Mount Hamilton Division, made a nifty move down the left side and crossed to the middle where freshman Izaac Cervantes headed just wide left.
St. Ignatius senior Alexander Bailey concluded the scoring in the final minute of the match, picking up a loose ball off a throw in and slotting a shot into the lower right corner to make it 3-0.
After finishing the 2016-17 season undefeated and winning the CCS Open Division championship, the Wildcats won a second straight WCAL title and are now two steps away from a repeat in the Open.
In other Open Division action, Burlingame stunned Archbishop Mitty, 2-0, to move into the semifinals. The Panthers will face the winner of Saturday night's Alisal-Los Altos match.