Miguel Alvarado scores in overtime to give the Santa Barbara Soccer Club’s U18 Boys Elite a 2-1 win over the Las Vegas Sports Academy for the USYS Far West Regional title in Boise, Idaho. pic.twitter.com/cGMs0u8ClN
— NoozhawkSports (@NoozhawkSports) June 27, 2021
Rene Pacheco set up Miguel Alvarado for a goal in overtime to give the Santa Barbara Soccer Club’s Boys U18 Elite a 2-1 victory over the Las Vegas Sports Academy for the Under-18 title at the U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Championships on a scorching Sunday in Boise, Idaho.
The title sends Santa Barbara to the USYS National Championships in Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla., July 20-25.
Midfielder Miguel Mondragon started the play that led to Alvarado’s game winner. He broke up a Las Vegas counterattack and fed a ball through to Pacheco.
Pacheco, who will be playing at UCSB this fall, beat a defender one on one on the left side of the penalty area and crossed the ball to Alvarado for the finish in the fourth minute of overtime.
There was no golden-goal rule in the final, so Santa Barbara had to play out the 20 extra minutes in 90-plus degree temperatures.
“I stayed out wide and Rene found me, and I just had to put it in. And that’s what I did,” said Alvarado of scoring the game winner.
The Santa Barbara High standout said it was important to start the overtime on a good note.
“We wanted to get off to a great start and get the goal early,” he said.
Cason Goodman gave SBSC the lead in the 11th minute and Las Vegas scored the equalizer in the 39th.
“The ball got loose and I just wanted to poke it in,” said Goodman, the Channel League scoring champion from Santa Barbara High, of his goal. “I don’t really know how it went in, but I got there and I got the last touch.”
Santa Barbara never trailed in its six tournament games.
Goalkeeper Sam Friedman made six saves against a team that scored 23 goals in the tournament.
Santa Barbara will be seeking the fifth national championship in club history. The U18 Elite advanced to the regionals by winning the California Youth Soccer-South National Cup.
“We’ve been together a long time, and it seems right now we can’t stop with the trophies,” said midfielder Christian Jimenez from Dunn School.
The Santa Barbara U18 Elite includes Diego Garcia, Sam Friedman, Jorge Silva, Miguel Mondragon, Erick Hernandez, Erik Guerrero, Caden Vom Steeg, Christian Jimenez, Miguel Alvarado, Carson Spahr, Jared Vom Steeg, Rene Pacheco, Jackson Wolf, Kevin Weslow, Jose Herrera, Alexander Lavariega, Jonah Dewhurst, Luke Goodman, Barrett Goodman, Cason Goodman and Martin Anguiano. The coaches are Rudy Ybarra and Oscar Hernandez.
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.