The Ontario High School boys soccer team defeated the Alta Loma Braves in a decisive 4-1 victory on Friday to secure a second place spot in the Mt. Baldy League.
Ontario set the tone of the game early as they put themselves up on the scoreboard in the fourth minute when junior forward and recent junior varsity call up, Marco Bernal, scored his second goal of the season.
The Jaguars continued to control the tempo the rest of the way, stopping the Braves on defense and creating a variety of chances on offense.
A goal from senior Christopher Peralta off of an assist from Bernal in the 27th minute gave the Jags the two-goal lead. The score was 2-0 at the halfway point.
The second half proved to be more competitive as Alta Loma took advantage of a corner kick in the 47th minute when a Brave netted a deflection from just inside the box. The lead was quickly extended back to two for Ontario when another recent junior varsity call up, Jose Lara, tapped in an assist from Bernal.
Both teams continued to battle and found themselves in a bit a of a stalemate in the ensuing 15 minutes. However, the Jaguar victory was sealed in the 64th minute when Peralta beat the Brave goalkeeper one-on-one on a give-and-go pass from senior Edgar Lagunas.
Ontario ended with nine shots on goal compared to Alta Loma’s six, but the Jags also added to their lengthy list of injuries, as senior defender Jayson Yepez went out with an ankle injury midway through the second half.
“Today we had three junior varsity players step up big,” reflected Jaguar head coach Harry Cruz. “I think the confidence in this team is really strong and that’s what has helped us even though we have like four or five guys injured right now.”
Cruz assessed his team’s condition before heading to the playoffs.
“I’m really, really confident in this team. We’re really deep; the guys we are bringing up are stepping up and that’s giving us time for those guys that have injuries to rest up a little bit and be ready to go for the playoffs,” said Cruz.
The Jaguars host Montclair at the Ontario Soccer Park on Wednesday at 3:15 pm in their final game of the league season before heading off to the playoffs. The Braves, who also have a spot in the playoffs, play away against first place Chaffey Tigers on Wednesday at 5 pm.