Despite losing to Mt. San Antonio in the semi-finals of the California community college soccer championships, Taft College still finished No. 1 in the state.
Mt. SAC went on to beat City College of San Francisco 2-0 to win the state title after its 2-1 win over the Cougars.
The Mounties shut out four of their five opponents in the playoffs – the only goal scored by the Cougars’ Charlie Gonzalez. Mt. SAC outscored opponents 13-1 and knocked off two unbeaten teams – Taft and CCSF.
Mt. SAC scored in the first minute and got another goal on a penalty kick before the Cougars scored their lone goal – all in the first half.
TC coach Angelo Cutrona said the Mounties “know how to protect a lead.”
Mt. SAC and Taft were among the stingiest teams in the state. The Mounties (21-3-1) gave up just 13 goals all season while the Cougars (17-1-5) allowed 16.
Taft finished No. 1 in the state based on the power ranking system that takes into account strength of opponents, goals scored and allowed and home vs. away games.
The Cougars played perhaps the strongest schedule of any of the state’s 54 teams.
Mt. SAC didn’t even finish in the top five – coming in at No. 8.
But the Mounties have the most coveted prize – their fourth consecutive state championship. That run began on a cold, blustery day in Sacramento in 2009 when they beat Taft 2-1 in the title game on an own goal and a hotly disputed handball call in front of the Cougar goal.
Golden West finished No. 2, CCSF No. 3, Cerritos No. 4 and Santa Rosa No. 5.
Fresno City College, Taft’s rival for supremacy of the Central Valley Conference, finished No. 7.