Grizzlies will play for second straight title

Pretty much everyone knew San Ramon Valley was going to play in the Gold Division championship game of the Winter Soccer Classic. The Wolves made it official with a 3-0 win over Castro Valley on Wednesday night.

Entering the final day of pool play, Monte Vista appeared likely to join them. But when Richmond threw down a 5-0 win over Clayton Valley, it was clear things would get interesting.

The Oilers’ victory gave them the maximum 11 points and put them at 28, with Monte Vista (20), California (17) and Antioch (17) still to play. All the Mustangs needed was a 2-0 win or a victory with least three goals scored to secure their spot in the title game. All they got was a 1-1 tie with James Logan (plus a red card, which is a one-point penalty), giving them three points and a total of 23. Antioch won, but its 2-1 victory over Kennedy-Richmond was worth just eight points, giving the Panthers 25.

That left California, which needed a dominant victory over Alameda just to tie Richmond. That’s exactly what the Grizzlies got, and their 8-0 win gave them 11 points to match Richmond’s 28. The first tiebreaker, goals against, was even at zero. The second tiebreaker, goals scored, went to California 12-8 thanks to its romp on Wednesday.

So the Grizzlies will play for their second straight Gold Division title, having defeated Monte Vista last year. They’ll face San Ramon Valley at 8 p.m. Friday at Amador Valley. Richmond will face Antioch in what could be a very interesting third-place game at 8 p.m. Friday at California. The fifth-place game should be a good one, too, as Monte Vista plays College Park at 3 p.m. Friday at California.

Silver Divison: Acalanes will face Washington-Fremont in the championship game at home at 8 p.m. Friday after a 4-0 win over Kennedy-Fremont gave them a total of 30 points. Washington also finished with 30, one ahead of Concord at 29. The Minutemen will face Campolindo in another entertaining third-place game, this one at 5:30 p.m. at Acalanes.

For complete results and standings for both divisions, as well as Friday’s schedule, visit http://winterclassic.50webs.com.