Champions again: North Hills League Champions 2017
From OC Varsity:
Brea Olinda rallies to beat Yorba Linda,
claims share of North Hills championship
February 09, 2017 5:53 PM ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story By DAMIAN DOTTORE STAFF WRITER BREA – Trailing by two goals with less than 10 minutes remaining made Brea Olinda coach Steve Teal think about playing it safe and removing his players on yellow cards.
Why risk them picking up another and drawing a red card, which would make them ineligible for the start of the playoffs next week? The game appeared to be as good over. Yorba Linda was on its way to sweeping its season series with the Wildcats. But just when Teal was getting ready to go to his bench, Andrew Lawson scored for the Wildcats. The rally had begun, and in the end Brea Olinda edged the Mustangs, 4-3, in overtime to share of the North Hills League championship with Yorba Linda. Matt Fuller knocked in the game winner, tapping in a pass from Thomas Schleicher, to deliver the Wildcats’ fourth come-from-behind victory in the past two weeks, decided by goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. “They have been doing it all year. It is a group of kids that always believe they are going to pull it back,” Teal said. “We don’t start well, but they never believe it is over. It is an interesting group, one of the first that I have had like that. I have so much stress from this team, but it all comes down to heart and character.” Teal thought the game was over when Josh Lee headed in a long throw from Tyler Hong in extra time to tie the score, 3-3, which would have put Brea in second place.
Teal forgot the league played overtime. Fuller scored two minutes into the second 10-minute overtime period, and as soon as the ball hit the back of the next the celebration began. The last time the Wildcats were at least league co-champions was 2009. “It has been a long time,” Teal said. “All season, we talked about how every minute matters, and making a decision to win a game. And you can see that it is a team that believes.” The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead when John Mai scored in the 11th minute. But three minutes later Brandon Russell tied the score after collecting a rebound just outside the 6-yard box, and Aldo Monier added a goal in the 20th minute to give Yorba Linda a 2-1 lead at the half. In the 45th minute, Drake Henry put the Mustangs up, 3-1. “I knew that we have been coming back plenty,” Teal said, “but this time, I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it.”
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