On March 4, 2016, the Redlands East Valley boys soccer team made school history by winning its first ever CIF-SS Championship. The Wildcats took on the defending champion and No. 1 seeded team, Cathedral High School, and defeated them in a thrilling penalty kick shootout.
The game began with a fast pace, and Cathedral was able to score first, gaining the lead over the REV boys. Halftime came, and the Wildcats trailed, the score still being 1-0. The boys were given a tough talk at halftime, and were ready to go second half.
REV came out quick and sharp starting second half. Nick Perez rushed up the the sideline and drew a foul. Jarod Nelson snuck this free kick into the back of the net to tie up the game 1-1.
The regulation period ended in a tie 1-1, causing the teams to go into two 10 minute overtimes, otherwise known as golden goal. The idea of golden goal is that the first team to score wins the game. If no goal is scored, the teams go into PK’s.
Cathedral rushed the field as they thought they had claimed their third consecutive CIF title, only to find out the goal that was made, was offsides.
Overtime ended and the game was still at a tie. Meaning that it was time for every soccer player’s worst nightmare, penalty kicks.
PKs are when five players from each team are given the chance to make a goal in an attempt to score more than the other team. The player stands an approximate 10 yards from the goalkeeper.
Cathedral was able to make the first two penalty kicks, but REVs goalkeeper Renee Gonzalez was able to get a touch on their third attempt which swung the door wide open for the Wildcats. REV was able to make the PKs they needed to keep their lead, and with one more goal needed, Nelson was up.
The stadium was dead silent as Nelson approached the ball. Nelson kicked the ball and the ball went straight into the back of the net as REV’s side of the stadium cheered with excitement.
Jonathan Garcia, a starter, and one of the captains of the team said, “We knew that if we came together, we would accomplish it. It was our destiny. We were ready to come out and fight for each other. Ted led us. He told us not to have fear and we didn’t.”
The Wildcats had just claimed and brought back to REV their first ever boys soccer CIF title.