By Jeremy Balan
It didn’t take long for Balboa High School to prove that it deserved to be on the field with 2009 finalist Mission High School in the Academic Athletic Association semifinals.
It was a strike from Maynor Moncado from 30 yards out that floated over the head of Mission goalkeeper Oscar Ramirez in the second minute that set the tone in the Bucs’ 4-3 upset win over the Bears on Tuesday at Boxer Stadium.
“That pumped us up, because usually in high school soccer, once they fall behind, they usually put their heads down,” said Balboa head coach Wentworth Houston.
The playoff win is Balboa’s first in recent history, since the San Francisco Section’s records only go back to 2002.
Still, it was Mission that held a 3-2 lead at the half, but Balboa scored two unanswered goals in the second half. The first came off the foot of junior Eric Rubio in the 49th minute, then the game-winner came from senior Kyle Kamibayashi in the 77th.
“We just wanted it more,” Kamibayashi said. “No words can say how I feel. It’s unbelievable.”
Kamibayashi also scored on a free kick from just outside the penalty area after Moncado was fouled in the 29th minute. Kamibayashi sent the kick toward the center of the net and Ramirez tipped the ball up, but it hit off the crossbar and caromed past the goal line.
Ramirez also got a hand on Kamibayashi’s final goal, but again the shot just crossed the goal line.
“We never got a bounce and nothing went our way,” Mission head coach Scott Kennedy said. “We played well, but I think we fell into almost a panic trap. We were playing scared.”
The Bears largely controlled play in the first half, but failed to rally for any significant attack in the second, allowing Balboa to tie and take the lead.
“Look at all the opportunities we had in the first half. Then in the second half, I thought we’d have more, but it just never happened,” Kennedy said. “It wasn’t meant to be, but we had our opportunities.”
What may have been the difference was the absence of Mission’s standout senior goalkeeper Jose Guevara-Fuentes, who has not been with the team for the past two weeks due to violating team rules.
“It makes a huge difference [not having Guevara-Fuentes],” Kennedy said. “If you don’t play by our team rules, then you won’t play with us. I don’t care who you are, what you are or how good you are. He learned that lesson.”
With the loss, Mission will not be in the AAA championship game for the first time since 2004.
“You get what you deserve, period,” Kennedy said. “It’s tough to lose when you expect or think you’re better. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we got outplayed.”
Balboa will face the winner of the semifinal match between Lowell and O’Connell on Wednesday. The championship game will be on Saturday at Boxer Stadium.
B: 2nd minute — Maynor Moncado
M: 24th minute — Dorian Isia Rosales
B: 29th minute — Kyle Kamibayashi
M: 31st minute — Johnnasthern Baca
M: 40th minute — Mission #22
B: 49th minute — Eric Rubio
B: 77th minute — Kamibayashi
Slideshow by Devin Chen