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Video by Spencer Lee
The Crossroads Roadrunners came back from a 2-goal deficit to beat Ontario Christian on Tuesday.

Sports, Crossroads, Soccer, Video, Santa Monica

'Roads Comes Back To Win Over Ontario Christian

Crossroads' Nate Merchant moves the ball against Ontario Christian in the Roadrunners' 4-3 CIF win on Tuesday.
Photo by Parimal Rohit
Crossroads' Nate Merchant moves the ball against Ontario Christian in the Roadrunners' 4-3 CIF win on Tuesday.

Roadrunners Move To CIF Quarters

Posted Feb. 21, 2012, 5:51 pm

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

Statistics are not always the best indicator of a match’s status. For almost 75 minutes, the Crossroads Roadrunners boys’ soccer team attempted more shots on goal and corner kicks than Ontario Christian in a third round matchup of CIF Southern Section Division 6 playoffs.

Yet, despite such favorable statistics, it was the Roadrunners who trailed by two goals entering the final seven minutes of its match against the Knights.

It was not until the fourth minute of sudden death overtime, when Sam Hakim’s golden goal from the right corner of the goal box found the back of the net, that the statistics and match results were in synch. Accordingly, Crossroads advanced into quarterfinal round of the playoffs with a 4-3 victory over Ontario Christian on Tuesday.

The three goals allowed were the first scores by a Crossroads opponent in these CIF playoffs; the Roadrunners had outscored its previous two opponents by a combined 13-0.

Crossroads head coach Federico Bianchi said the defensive lapses early on were mostly due to matchup issues.

“They were the type of team that was very powerful when they got the ball into our half. They have two forwards that were excellent players,” Bianchi said after the win. “Every time (the forwards) got the ball, we felt under pressure, so we always had to make sure they weren’t in man-to-man mark but instead have someone help out.

“We haven’t played two guys like that all season,” he added.

The Knights ended the Roadrunners’ two-match scoreless streak in the game’s seventh minute, when Knights’ junior forward Christian Dirksen broke away from the entire Crossroads defense near midfield for a one-on-one scoring opportunity.

Dirksen rifled a shot passed Crossroads’ junior goalkeeper Dylan Ochoa and found the back of the net to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

About five minutes later, the Roadrunners tied the match on Ali Marinez' equalizer.

Both teams remained knotted at 1-1 until the 34th minute, when Ontario's junior midfielder Austin de Falkenberg convincingly struck a cross shot from the left side to give Ontario Christian a 2-1 lead heading into the halftime break.

In the match’s 54th minute, senior midfielder Cody Catano scored a second breakaway goal for the Knights to give Ontario Christian an seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead.

After Nate Merchant's goal in the 73rd minute cut the Knights’ lead to 3-2, a scramble in front of the Ontario Christian goal ultimately resulted in Quaid Walker punching the ball over the defenders and passed the goalkeeper for the equalizer in the 77th minute.

The match subsequently went into sudden death overtime, where a streaking Hakim cut toward the net from the right corner and found a deflected ball heading his direction. Hakim immediately redirected the shot into the net from about five yards out to help Crossroads win the match.

The junior midfielder could not have found a more opportune time to capitalize on an open corner.

“I’ve been playing the back post the entire game,” Hakim said. “The ball came miraculously to my feet. I think it was just a deflection through the middle of the box.

Crossroads finished the match with nine corner kicks, compared to four for Ontario Christian.

Goalkeeper Trevor Riffey stopped seven shots for the Knights, while Ochoa made two saves.

Crossroads returns to the soccer field on Feb. 23 against Rosamond.

Post a comment


Feb. 22, 2012, 9:52:13 am

CF said...

You forgot to mention the goal the referree's took away with minutes left which would have put Ontario Christian ahead 4-3..

Feb. 22, 2012, 5:57:45 pm

Abdool said...

Yea you're right CF. Nah im just playin, that was offsides dood

Feb. 22, 2012, 9:44:49 pm

CF said...

did you watch the video?? please explain the offsides to me because i was right there and he took the ball from the defender went around him and scored... Good for Crossroads though.. probably a great feeling to beat the #1 team, but unfortunately horrible referee's costed the Knights.

Feb. 23, 2012, 7:34:50 am

Twit said...

The commentator got that offsides call wrong. It was a foul the player who scores hits the Crossroads player from behind twice knocking him forward. Clearly a foul,

Feb. 23, 2012, 7:40:02 am

nancy evenhuis said...

Thanks for posting that. I hated to hear they lost but it was fun watching them this year. What a great group of guys. Great coaching and support from parents. G-ma

Feb. 23, 2012, 10:05:08 pm

rab said...

ROADS! another OT victory thursday...on to the semis......Living the dream!!

Feb. 23, 2012, 11:32:39 pm

InterMilan said...

I was there and it was clearly offside. But it was a great game and Ontario Christian a great team. But Tuesday's excitement was blown away by XRDS' 4-3 OT win against Rosamond today to advance to the CIF Semis!!!! Go Roads!!!!

Feb. 27, 2012, 1:13:36 am

Jim said...

ALWAYS include both teams' records in game stories.

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