Sunny Hills Boys Soccer Defeats Norte Vista in OT to Win Division 3 Championship – Press Enterprise

RIVERSIDE – The game plan was simple: defend and try to hit Matias Brown on the counter.

It lasted until the seventh minute of overtime, but Brown eventually broke away and scored the game-winning golden goal on Saturday as the Sunny Hills boys’ soccer team secured a 1-0 win over Norte Vista in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship game in Ramona gained high.

“As soon as I saw the ball go in the net – oh my god! – there are so many emotions. I’m so proud of my team and my coaches,” Brown said.

It was Sunny Hills’ third straight overtime win in those playoffs (18-3-4 overall) and the program’s third division title since 1987.

“For us, it’s all about defending, stopping and countering, and we did that,” said Sunny Hills coach Mike Schade. “(Norte Vista) is very, very good, but we did our homework and scouted a lot.”

The goal was just the second of this postseason for Norte Vista (16-4-6), who are yet to win a group title in three attempts. The Braves lost the Division 3 Finals 1-0 in overtime last season.

“How are we going to take another 1-0 loss?” Norte Vista coach Matt Beliveau said. “We played our hearts out (and) risked everything. We only made one mistake.”

In the very first encounter between the two programs, neither took advantage of the scoring chances in the first 80 minutes of regulation time.

Brown boxed his first shot on goal away from Norte Vista goalkeeper Kevin Narvaez in the fourth minute.

Ediberto Villacana almost scored from a free-kick five minutes later, and Carlos Gradilla headed the ensuing rebound off the bar as Norte Vista was averted.

Narvaez came off his line to win a one-on-one with Brown midway through the second half when Sunny Hills’ 6-foot-4 center forward was a half-touch from goal. Norte Vista almost walked away with the win in the 77th minute, but Gradilla missed his shot and allowed Lancers goalkeeper Angel Echeverria to make a routine save.

In overtime, Brown got a step on his defender before receiving the ball over the top, taking a touch wide to avoid Narvaez and placing his shot under the bar from a tight angle.

“They get their only chance on a shot with no angle going in? Hats off,” Beliveau said.

It was the second straight win in overtime against a domestic school for Sunny Hills. The Lancers defeated Valley View 2-1 in double-OT semifinals.

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