This time, Canoga Park gets perfect ending

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first_imgA year after being upset in the title game, top-seeded Canoga Park won the City title and completed the first undefeated season in program history by defeating No. 2 San Fernando 3-1 in Saturday’s final at East Los Angeles College. Rojas scored the deciding goal on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute and added his team-high 32nd goal of the season in the 72nd minute. Omar De La Piedra gave Canoga Park (24-0-1) the initial lead with a score in the 23rd minute. MONTEREY PARK – Camilo Rojas, Jeffrey Quijano, Rafael Garcia and the rest of the Canoga Park High boys’ soccer team will likely go down as one of the greatest collections of talent in area history. But what the Hunters, ranked No. 2 in the nation, really wanted to be remembered as was City Section champions. Mission accomplished. “This feels great,” Rojas said. “I started to cry when the referee blew the whistle. This doesn’t compare to anything. It’s so amazing.” The Hunters took off their shirts and waved them over their heads in celebration for a drastically different scene than last year’s tearful ending. Canoga Park’s only loss last season was to Birmingham of Lake Balboa in the final. Avenging last year’s disappointment rarely left the Hunters’ minds this season and made them hungrier than ever to win before graduating 12seniors from this year’s team. “This tops all of our careers,” said Quijano, one of the few holdovers from Canoga Park’s last championship in 2004. “After last year, this is the icing on the cake, the cherry on the sundae. It doesn’t get any better than this. We really wanted this.” San Fernando (22-3-3), playing for its first title since 1973, came out equally determined. The Tigers were much improved from the version that lost 3-0 against the Hunters early in the season. The loss snapped a 20-game unbeaten streak. center_img “They were right up there with the best teams we played this year,” said Quijano, whose team had faced prominent opponents en route to a championship at the December West Coast Classic. “They gave us a great game. We didn’t even think about the last game, they’re a different team now.” Canoga Park’s first-half lead lasted just three minutes before a corner kick set up San Fernando’s tying shot by Jorge Flores. The goal was the first the Hunters allowed during the postseason and ignited flashbacks of last year’s final, in which Canoga Park had also taken the early lead. “It felt like a carbon copy of last year,” Rojas said. “Like we were going to crumble again. But our team stepped up and pulled through.” The Hunters were shut down on several scoring opportunities before Rojas took the penalty shot that sailed into the left side while San Fernando goalkeeper Orlando Cardenas dove in the opposite direction. “I was so nervous,” Rojas said. “It’s been a great run,” Canoga park coach Jake Gwin said. “We’ll see if we can rebuild.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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