Armando Parra and Jacob Cibrian, boys soccer

CLASH OF RIVALS — Analy’s Armando Parra (No. 5) battled with El Molino’s Jacob Cibrian (No. 7) in the Lions’ exciting 3-2 win over the visiting Tigers on Feb. 7.

The El Molino boys soccer team has local bragging rights over neighboring Analy for the first time in over two decades, completing a season sweep over the Tigers with an exciting, 3-2 win on Feb. 7.

El Molino (3-6-2, 5-8-2) was trailing 2-0 in the second half following Analy goals from Armando Parra and Jake Fitch, but the Lions came storming back with a late rally that included goals from Yhosmar Martinez and Jackson Dunkle to tie the contest at 2-2. Lions pulled it out in dramatic fashion when Jacob Cibrian scored the game winner as time expired to emerge with a 3-2 victory.  

“It’s been more years than I can remember that we swept Analy in a season,” El Mo coach Dave Rosales said. “I’m so proud and happy for the guys.”

Despite the loss, the Tigers (6-4 in league, 13-4-1 overall) are in good shape to land a North Coast Section playoff berth, while the Lions may need a win over visiting Roseland University Prep (Feb. 14, 6 p.m.) and some luck to secure a postseason berth. 

Ladies on playoff bubble

Kaija Bazzano, soccer

STOPPER — Analy veteran goalie Kaija Bazzano has been a rock of stability in front of the net this season.

The playoff fate of Analy and El Molino girls soccer teams may come down to the final week of the NBL season, as both sit squarely on the bubble for NCS consideration.

The Lady Tigers (1-7-2, 5-8-4) are coming off a 3-0 loss to NBL juggernaut Maria Carrillo on Feb. 6, a strong showing that is better than the final score would indicate.

“We lost 3-0 against what I feel was the best team we have seen this year,” Analy coach Brian Heacock reported. “We defended well, led by Luna McCullough and Hope English, but were unable to keep the ball for long enough to mount many attacks, and that put too much pressure on our defense.”

The Tigers will close out the NBL schedule against Ukiah on Feb. 11 (after press time) and await the release of NCS brackets on Sunday.

Lions gain split    

Meanwhile the Lions (3-4, 3-9) logged one win in two NBL outings, bouncing back from a 10-0 loss to Santa Rosa on Feb. 4 with a 5-1 win over Healdsburg two nights later.

Goal scorers for the Lions included Santia Depaola (2 goals, 1 assist), Ariela Tapia (1 goal, 1 assist), Kendra Rivas (1 goal) and Yudoni Garcia-Lopez (1 goal).

“We have united as a team, and connected the ball extremely well,” El Mo coach Emily Farrant said of the win over Healdsburg. “We look like a completely different team than two months ago.”

The Lions will close out the NBL schedule with a home game against Elsie Allen (Feb. 11), away against Piner (Feb. 14) and back home against Piner (Feb. 15). All varsity matches start at 6 p.m. El Mo may need to win all three matches to land a berth in the NCS playoffs.

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