El Camino defeats Granada Hills to advance to the final of the CIF LA City Section Boys’ Soccer Division I Championship.

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El Camino

After having gotten the better of El Camino in their two West Valley League meetings, Granada Hills was unable to get the victory on the third attempt. Tuesday Feb 20, was unkind for Granada Hills, who had possession and control most of the game. The direct play of El Camino was too much for the Highlanders to contain. The Royals adjusted after the first two encounters with the Granada Hills Highlanders, and were displaying more confidence and composure on the pitch. As the game came to a close, the final score was 3-1 in favor of the Royals, ending the city championship run for the Highlanders.

The first goal by El Camino was scored by junior Jonathan Rabinovitch. The second goal was scored by senior Anthony Villa. Both goals came in the first half. In the second half the Royals closed the game out with the third goal by senior Eric Cabadas. Granada Hills managed to score in the first half but had no response after their only goal of the match.

Coach Ian Kogan believes that the pressure on the defense helped them startle the backline of Granada. After the previous two meetings Kogan wanted the Royals to be more confident by giving the freedom to the midfielders and forwards to push up more to become more attack minded. Kogan is excited with the momentum of his team. “We got one more game. We need to finish the job. Momentum is on our side. I’m proud of what we’ve done.” Kogan credits his side for playing with a lot of emotion and character. 

For Granada, Coach Jose Garcia is looking forward to regionals. Finishing in the top four allows Granada to compete in the CIF state regionals despite the loss in the semi final. Disappointed that they could not win a City Section championship, a goal that Granada had, Coach Garcia wants to rest to prepare for their next opponent. “We need to play our game. We are more possession based and we drifted a little from that today but I’m proud of our boys.”

El Camino moves on to the city championship game. El Camino will face Birmingham in the CIF LA City Section Boys’ Soccer Division I Championship. The Royals will take on the Patriots at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday Feb, 24 at LAVC Monarch Stadium.

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