Soccer Claims CCS Open Division & Norcal Titles

Posted: March 6, 2019

Over the course of nine days, Bellarmine soccer put into play what they had been working toward the entire season, earning Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division and California Interscholastic Federation's (CIF) Northern California Division 1 championship titles.

The Bells faced stiff competition on the road to the February 22nd CCS championship game, playing Palo Alto and Watsonville in the first two rounds. Even after recording shut-outs in those two matches, the Bells knew they had to stay focused and not underestimate their opponent, Branham High School, who pulled off back-to-back upsets to get to the finals. Bellarmine scored the single goal of the game in the first half when Casey Jaeb '19 delivered a perfect ball to Blaze Strangio '19 for a back-of-the-net goal. Jaeb and Max Morris '19 were credited with strong performances at outside back, with Myles Thomas '21 and Tate Hackett '21 working at center back, allowing the Bells to maintain possession. The 1-0 win secured our first-ever CCS Open Division championship title but our 19th CCS soccer title overall. (The Open Division was created only a few years ago.)

The Bells earned top seed in the CIF NorCal playoffs given their CCS performance. They defeated Turlock in the quarter-final, 4-1, and Fresno in the semi-final, 3-1, on their way to the all-Jesuit-school final on March 2nd, hosting Jesuit High School, Sacramento, at home. Bellarmine controlled most of the first half, with Mario Barocio '19 scoring the first and only goal of the period with an assist from Strangio. The Marauders tied it up early in the second half, but the Bells answered back with one of their own—corner kick from Gabi Martinez '20; Jaeb's header deflected off the left post; follow-up by Hackett into the net—for a 2-1 win for the Bells. This is Bellarmine's first NorCal soccer title, but similar to the CCS Open Division, this is only the second year of the tournament's existence.

Go Bells!

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