March 1, 2011 > Cougars stopped in NCS final
Cougars stopped in NCS final
By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photo by Mike Heightchew
There has simply been nothing that could get in the way of Newark Memorial High School's boys soccer team this season. After dropping the first two games of the season, over the next three-plus months, the Cougars reeled off 23 wins in 24 games, which placed them in the North Coast Section DI boys soccer championship. However, the elite offense was shut down against De La Salle High School, 2-0, in the title round on Saturday, Feb. 26.
Newark, as the No. 2 seed in the tourney, marched through their side of the bracket to get to the finals, outscoring their opponents 13-1. After coasting through two home games in the first week - 7-1 in round one vs. No. 15 College Park; 2-0 vs. No. 10 Monte Vista in round two - Newark hosted its semifinals against No. 6 Clayton Valley High School on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
Three, first-half goals put the game away early for Newark. They added a tack-on goal in the second half to send themselves into the championship with a 4-0 win over Clayton Valley. Alfredo Navarro led the Cougars' offensive outburst with a pair of goals; Noe Ruiz and Edward Ramirez had the others. Often overlooked in the Cougar blowout wins, goalkeeper Logan Lombana was on his A-game once again, stopping all six shots in collecting another clean sheet.
But on Saturday night, at Dublin High School, Newark went up against No. 8 seed De La Salle, who knocked off No. 9 Granada (3-2 in OT), No. 1 California (1-1, 5-4 in PKs) and No. 5 Livermore (1-0) just to make it to the final round. De La Salle was battle tested, and proved to be too much for the Cougars on that night.