Garfield gets the victory over Panorama in the second round of the CIF LA City Section Boys’ Soccer Division I Championship.

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Garfield Bulldogs

Wednesday February 14, 2024, the Garfield Bulldogs faced the Panorama Pythons on the road. Despite having the support of the home crowd the Pythons were unable to secure the result. The Bulldogs did not waste any time with an early goal in the third minute from junior Gael Gomez. As both teams settled and the game progressed, it was evenly matched until the thirty-third minute when a strike from Senior Hector Perez was too strong for Panorama’s senior keeper, Mickie Rendon, to save. In the second half a new found spark consumed the Pythons. Most of the play in the second half was in favor of Panorama. A goal from Christopher Romedo gave hope and life to the host team. Multiple set pieces taken by Panorama had supporters on the edge of their seats, unfortunately none were converted.

In a game that could have gone in favor of either team, Garfield goalkeeper junior Uriel Gonzales made big plays in the final minutes to deny Christopher Romedo a second goal that could have sent the game into extra time. Uriel came out with confidence off his goal and challenged Romedo on various one on one attempts on goal. Even though the Bulldogs faced constant high pressure from the home side, the team showed determination and discipline to close out the game.

It was a bitter result as soon as the final whistle blew for the Pythons. Although Panorama conceded two goals early in the game, the home side never gave up. The team played with heart and for many of the seniors it was a bittersweet feeling. The chances and opportunities were there; however, the ball never found the net when it mattered most. Senior Christopher Romedo with the assists from his teammates tested the backline of Garfield all game. With passes placed behind the defense Romedo’s presence gave the Bulldogs a challenge on Wednesday afternoon.

The best chance to tie the game came in the final ten minutes when senior Diego Pineda, on a set piece, crossed the ball inside the box. With desperation and amidst chaos the ball was cleared by the Bulldogs. The efforts of Panorama was not enough and the team that finally came together late in the season had a bitter sweet ending to a talented side.

Coach Pablo Serrano from Garfield believes that the experience from the upperclassmen helped them close out the game. Serrano emphasized the importance of the Bulldogs to play their game in the next round. “Let’s keep it going and play our game.”

Coach Franklin Ventura is optimistic of the future and believes that Panorama has a lot of potential despite the loss. “That is soccer, the beautiful sport, it doesn’t always go your way.” Ventura prides himself on the academic success and the Pythons ability to compete at the highest level but thanked his squad for remaining student-athletes first and foremost.

The Garfield victory over Panorama progressed the Bulldogs into the next round where they will face Granada Hills in the quarter finals of the CIF LA City Section Boys’ Soccer Division I Championship. The Bulldogs will take on the Highlanders at 3:00 p.m. on Friday Feb, 16 at John Elway Stadium.

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