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Boys Soccer: NCS Finals

The finals are here…

Division I

De La Salle v. San Ramon Valley

When the San Ramon Valley High boys soccer team drew a No. 6 seed in the North Coast Section Division I playoffs, a lot of people wrote the Wolves off, considering their seed and fourth-place finish in the East Bay Athletic League.
What happened was they won their first two games by a combined score of 8-0, and went into Richmond and beat a very good team in the face of a hostile crowd.
Their reward? The top-seeded, and three-time defending champs, the De La Salle Spartans.
“We need to play with heart, pace, skill and composure for 80 minutes,” San Ramon Valley coach Don Busboom said.
The Spartans have twice beat the Wolves by one goal, by 2-1 and 1-0 scores, and beating them a third time certainly will not be easy.
“Playing San Ramon is never an easy task, if it’s only one game or three,” De Le Salle coach Derricke Brown said. “Though, we are excited to play on the last day of the season again and the boys will be ready to defend their title.”
Already the first team to win three titles in a row, the Spartans will be looking for an unprecedented fourth in a row, and a 10th overall title and seem to be in top form.
Since starting the year 4-3-1, De La Salle has gone 18 matches without a loss, winning 17 of those matches.

Division II

Albany v. Bishop O’Dowd

Nobody, except for the teams themselves, expected these two teams to be playing for the Division II title.
With Ygnacio Valley, Dublin and Hayward on their side of the bracket, most were assuming the Cougars would have too tough a road.
Same for the Dragons, who had a path that included top-seeded Acalanes, a hot Alhambra team, Concord and defending champion Campolindo.
The Dragons are doing it with defense, allowing just one goal this post-season. Albany, on the other hand, has scored 10 goals, including four in a game twice.
Albany coach Ko Douglas knows the Dragons are big and physical, while Bishop O’Dowd coach Greg Rubendall knows Albany likes to possess the ball, and has two amazing players in Gabriel Borges and Andre Alvarez.
Which style will come out on top in a rematch of last year’s second-round, 1-0 Albany win?

Matt Smith

  • SOCCER KING

    Div. 1 SRV 3-DLS 1
    Div. 2 Albany 2-BOD 1

  • FanOfTheSpartan

    Wondo..once a Spartan always a Spartan =Brotherhood.

    De La Salle this year seems to have the complete package going, Health,Intense Focus,Unselfish Play, and a Passion to win. You can see this by the balanced scoring among some six players here are a few Molineux, Lisiak,Eikani,Guerrero,..basically anybody in a Spartan Uniform is capable of finding the goal..danger lurks about..but it is a team effort. The Spartan defense is patient and does not panic, It is a chain reaction of coverage that is pleasing to the eye and a source of frustration for the opponent much credit to players like McNeil,Marcinkowski,Rowling,DePolo,Blasi,Pauline, Dargan, Nic Bob is just a dominant player in the mid field, anticipation is his signature. Konstatino the GK is calm under pressure and if scored on he is not phased but the intensity and focus heightens. Then the coaching staff Of Brown, Selva,Moar & Rodd who are in the trenches daily working on the game. The sports medicine trainers Mercer & Bauman who work on keeping the players fit through the season. Good Luck to the Spartan Soccer Team..One and All…The Brotherhood stands strong.

  • Rogue Warrior

    Soccer Fans we are just hours away…in other-words a small eternity to the start of NCS play.
    Good luck to all the teams playing today.

    DLS -SRV game has all the ingredients of a classic Championship. DLS with consistent intense team play and focus through the entire season..1 game at a time to be played as best as possible and tonight a chance at 4peat. And San Ramon who has overcome some inconsistent play and has pushed through to the final and seems to be riding a wave of success. As a fan of soccer would you want anything else?

    BOD & ALbany. BOD is a fighter they have been able to adjust to the conditions of the game and are not flustered by a challenge as shown at Concord game. And Albany with two standout players the big question can they carry the team? and they also are blessed with Home-field advantage. What better final for D2

    Bottom line these four teams are the last one’s standing after league and qualifiers ..well deserved and earned and Now it comes down to Who will be standing on top at the end of the day?

  • Shinguard

    A big salute to the De La Salle Spartans…Four consecutive appearances in the NCS finals with the opportunity of a 4th possible consecutive title for a for a total of 10. That is a huge accomplishment. When you think about all of the players and coaches past and present what an outstanding achievement that is in the sport of HS soccer.

  • Shinguard

    @Matt
    What is the exact consecutive count for DLS to be in the final of NCS?

  • TheSpecialOne

    And the clock…goes …tick…tick…tick

  • concrete17

    Rogue Warrior posted:
    February 25th, 2012 at 9:24 am
    “Soccer Fans we are just hours away…in other-words a small eternity to the start of NCS play.
    Good luck to all the teams playing today…..”

    THAT is the beauty of competition…..right up there with the actual heat of the battle and maybe christmas morning anticipation for a 5 year old.

  • TheSpecialOne
  • sich

    Saw both DII semis. Good luck BOD maybe it’s your time but are you kidding me Borges and Alvarez are dynamic, creative, and just plain fun to watch. We watch futbol to see goals. Alvarez’s first goal vs Tennyson was absolute magic. Borges passes the ball like a Steve Nash / Aaron Rodgers hybrid. OMG! These two guys are worth the $9 admission!

  • Matt Smith

    This is the fourth appearance in a row. Is that what you mean?

  • SoccerMan

    D1-DLS 2-SRV 1
    D2-ALBANY 4-BOD 2
    RICHMOND DESERVED TO WIN IT ALL JUST SAYING NOT BECAUSE OF ONLY THEIR TALENT BUT ALL THE THINGS THAT THE PLAYERS HAVE PUT IT AND HAVE TO GO THROUGH DAY BY DAY IN THIS COMMUNITY

  • Shinguard

    Yep..that’s what I thought..just was not 100%sure if this was the 5th year in a row to make the final for DLS.

    Been a great season..Hope you can hang in for a few more years before you hang your shingle up.

  • The Sweeper

    LET’S GET READY TO RRRRUUUMMMBBBLLLE!!!

    Congratulations to each team playing today, you have earned your spot in the ‘ship. Good luck, be safe and play well!

    See you at the pitch!

  • Matt Smith

    Sweeper is going with six total goals, Tack has five for the tiebreaker.

  • Matt Smith

    @Shinguard

    I plan on sticking around.

  • Juan Pito

    anybody know where to find a list of all league selections?

  • EbayFutbolFan

    When our player woke this morning, his Mom asked “Are you excited about your first NCS final?”

    Our 15-year old’s response “It just feels surreal.”

    Then he left to be with his Brothers for the day.

    How’s your player today?

  • EbayFutbolFan

    Spartans… What is your profession?

    http://youtu.be/tj1gbN9OAfc

  • SOCCERMAN

    My Predictions
    D1- DLS 2-SRV 1
    D2-ALBANY 4-BOD 2
    I WISH RICHMOND COULD HAVE BEEN IN THE D1 FINAL THEY HAD AN OUTSTANDING TEAM WITH GOOD TALENT BUT GOOD LUCK TO ALL TEAMS TODAY

  • Matt Smith

    Juan Pito, I’ll post them all here when I get them all.

    Kickoff at Albany. The Division II title game is under way.

  • Matt Smith

    BOD strikes in the 5th minute. Tommy Powell. 1-0.

  • Matt Smith

    Borges equalizes two minutes later.

  • Matt Smith

    1-1, 15 minutes in.

  • Matt Smith

    1-1, 20 minutes.

  • EBAL Spektator

    Girls Div2 Final

    BOD 1 Dublin 0

  • El Pata

    For what it is worth:

    Have seen all the top kids play, save for anyone from CV or DLS, and won’t be making it out tonight.

    But, Borges is PoY. ;)

    Good luck to all the athlete’s tonight.

  • EBAL Spektator

    Matt,

    A 4th NCS consecutive title may be uprecendented for the boys side, but the SRV girls have already acomplished this in 2009.

    In fact the SRV Lady wolves are playing in their 7th consecutive NCS final today, (they have lost the last 2)

    FYI

  • EBAL Spektator

    Ironically the boys SRV team can be the ones to stop the DLS team from tieing the 4th NCS consecutive title honors, hence preserving that distinquished accomplishment for their sisters…

  • Matt Smith

    Albany scores seconds before half. 2-1.

  • fan of the futbol

    would love to hear your thoughts after each half matt!

  • futboldude

    Matt,

    Do you know if there is anyone filming the games? I can’t make it to the games, but I would love to watch it after, even if its just the highlights.

  • Matt Smith

    2-2. Powell scores again seven minutes into second half.

  • Matt Smith

    3-2 BOD with 25 left.

  • fan of the futbol

    who scored the third???

  • Vela

    Tommy Powells brother, Matthew.

  • fan of the futbol

    jeeeeezzz those brazilians are on fire!! keep going BOD!

  • Hala madrid!!

    BoD stepped up their game??? :D

  • Matt Smith

    @Futboldude
    NCS usually has copies of the game you can buy, I believe.

    @Fan of the Futbol

    Sorry for not breaking the game down more as I was using my phone at Albany to update (no press box) instead of my computer.

    I feel like O’Dowd’s defense stepped up in the second half and really surrounded Borges and Albany couldn’t quite attack like it did in the first half. O’Dowd’s physical play may have been the difference.

  • Hala madrid!!

    Matt so who won division 2??

  • Matt Smith

    3-2 O’Dowd.

  • soccertrainer

    Thoughts and half time score anyone? Out of town wish I could be there!

  • Tintin

    @ dls vs San Ramon game. . 30 min in and not much happening

  • Tintin

    Half time 0-0

  • MO Soccer

    Let’s be clear- the story of the soccer season is the BOD Dragons. A 9th seed coming out of the HAAl, which rarely gets the respect it deserves, with only 3 starters from last year, losing one of its captains to the Academy, and here they are- NCS Division 2 champs!

    Soccer is a team sport and that was never better demonstrated than today at Albany High School. Albany has two outstanding individual players in Borges and Alvarez and BOD had 11 guys who played together who played beautiful team soccer. Two rarely can defeat 11.

    Once Albany went ahead 2-1, it was all O’Dowd. The final score was 3-2 but it could have been worse.
    O’Dowd was attacking to the very end and never relented in the second half.

    Coach of the Year? No longer a debate- Greg Rubendal who put together a true team..
    Congratulations Dragons- Boys and Girls Division 2 NCS Champs.

  • Protackler

    What’s the scorr

  • Midfielder

    DLS 2 – SRV 0 Final

    Not a very pretty game, but hard fought by both sides.

  • Shinguard

    Sparty had a relentless attack going..San Ramon Keeper 1 and 2 salvaged any hope for them to stay in game. Easily could have been 4-0. Sparty played solid soccer for 80- min SRV seemed to lose steam in Mid field and was fading in last 20. D 1 Coach of the year Derricke Brown and Staff. Well Done Spartans

    D2 also coach of the year no question BOD’s Greg Rubendal and staff and Ball Whisperer. :)

  • The Sweeper

    I enjoyed seeing both boys finals matches today. The officiating was up to the task for the key plays, but even the best trios had to work very hard to keep up with these turbo-charged athletes. There were several high-charged confrontations, and I hope that all injuries are very limited.

    DII final:

    Albany challenged Bishop O’Dowd possibly beyond what the Dragons expected. The end of half goal by the Cougars was spectacular and potentially deflating. But the Dragons came out and controlled the second half in a hostile environment, and won a well earned NCS championship.

    I had only seen BOD in one previous match this season, at Acalanes. I was favorably impressed with their play to the point that I had picked the Dragons to win it all in my second bracket. Go figure, but only one bracket counts.

    Congratulations to the Dragons and to the Cougars for the most entertaining championship match!

    DI final:

    This match was much tighter and more tense with respect to the build up to a score. Facing each other for the 3rd time this season, but at a neutral field, did not loosen the play until mid-way through the second half. The keepers were strong, but each team missed 2+ opportunities to net a shot in the first half: a clear sign of the pucker factor.

    Midway through the 2nd half SRV lost its starting keeper on what appeared to be a fluke injury, and DLS pressed to take advantage. The end result was a 2-0 championship win for the Spartan.

    Congratulations to the mighty DLS Spartans for their FOURTH consecutive NCS championship. And congrats to the SRV Wolves for showing the soccer world that they were hardly a #6 seed, and were the most entertaining offense in the NCS when not playing DLS.

    Cheers, and see you at the pitch next season!

  • DLS Defender

    Midfielder:

    Must disagree…

    I thought DLS played beautifully against an outstanding, talented, big-strong-fast SRV team… moved the ball around well, never gave up control of the midfield, dominated on defense once again shutting out a very talented SRV forward line, and created many offensive chances–score could easily have been double…

    For unexplained reasons, SRV came out flat in the second half; truly a surprise…

    First bad break for DLS came with Nic Bob having to leave the game due to injury, but the other DLS middies really stepped up and didn’t lose a step…could have lost composure but never did…remarkable…

    Then, SRV lost their GK to a freak injury when throwing the ball to the outside; SRV never rebounded from this despite great play from their back-up GK..

    Great goals from Eikani and Molineux…offense moved the ball around well…

    And…I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding play of Constantino and the DLS back four…only 11 GA’s all season in 27 games by my count…only 6 in the last 17 games…against many outstanding teams…

    As I alluded to earlier in the week…Defense wins Championships…but you can’t do it without terrific midfield control and some great offense to get the job done…

    A special salute to the DLS Seniors…job well done…

    I think I’ll be signing off til next year…God willing, me thinks I’ll be “defending” the DLS program again next year from claims of recruiting, dirty play, field size advantage, etc…Proud and happy to do it…For now, just focusing on the virtues of perseverance, determination, hard work, tenacity, teamwork…and…above all…the power that is the Brotherhood…adios…vaya con dios…

  • The Sweeper

    For the record, and as the POY debate heats up, #18 on Richmond is the first player that I would draft if I were a fantasy HS team “owner.” You could anchor any team off of his control of the field between the football hash marks, on offense, on defense, or in the middle of the field. No player is close in my eyes.

    I suggest the POY debate begin with the following format (Matt Smith, please weigh in). It struck me as a good format to hear not just “my favorite player,” but tell us who are your top 4 or 5 or 6 choices and why.

    For The Sweeper:
    #18 Richmond – the best field general, passer and dead-aim shooter. Sorry to see he was not 100% in the semis.
    #10 DLS – best ‘center-fielder’. Flies to the ball and redirects with the best.
    #20 Albany – best athlete, period. Requires two tier-1 defenders to contain, only player in the East Bay with this credential.
    #19 Albany & #19 Richmond: Borges and Montes are game changers, but can be contained with overplay over 80 minutes.
    #10 SRV – led the most creative offense in the toughest league. The Wolves were the rat-a-tat-a-tat machine gun offense, and #10 was the ‘mechanic’.
    #20 Cal – dominated in tough situations, took over 4 matches down the stretch as the Grizzlies were on the mend. The Duke was ‘the dude’ on the pitch, out of control yet in control: a riot to watch.

    Cheers! Let the POY arguments begin…

    Oh, and I need a keeper…