The WAC champion Pacheco boys varsity soccer team hit the road last week for playoff action in their pursuit of a CIF-SJS Division 3 title appearance.  The first stop was on Tuesday, taking on the second seeded Christian Brothers Falcons out of Sacramento.

It was a chilly evening that saw the Panthers strike first scoring on a Samuel Pinal goal just six minutes into the contest. The 1-0 lead would last almost the entire first half before Christian Brothers managed a breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the second half.

Much like the start of the game, Pacheco found the back of the net just a minute into the second half. That lead was short lived as the Falcons took advantage of a mishandled ball in the goal to even the game back up at 2-2. Several attacks by both teams were fought off by strong defense and strong goal play to send the game into extra time.

Halfway into the first extra ten minute period the Panthers took their final lead of the game. The 3-2 advantage lasted until the final two minutes of the second extra time when Pacheco scored one more time on a corner kick to seal the victory and the upset to reach the semifinals.  Scoring for the Panthers were Bryan Reyes, Saul Delgado and Pinal finished with two goals.

Two days after a long trip and an extra time game against the second seed, Pacheco found themselves facing the third seeded Vista Del Lago Eagles. The Eagles entered the game as the top ranked team in the section in Division 3 according to MaxPreps, but the Panthers were up to the challenge.

After a scoreless first half that saw great goal play on both sides the Eagles came out early in the second half and scored on a corner kick. With time running down on the Panthers season, Pinal once again came through for his team. His goal late in the second half would prove to be enough to send the Panthers into their second extra time game of the week.

With a spot on the CIF Division 3 Section Championship on the line the first ten minute period of extra time saw both defenses play strong without a goal being scored. Pinal would be the hero again early in the second extra period finding his way past the Eagle goalie to help the Panthers grab the 2-1 lead and eventually a chance to play for the program’s second section title this week.

Information on Thursday’s CIF-SJS Division 3 Section Championship:

Location: Cosumnes River College, Elk Grove, CA

Opponent: Valley High School (Sacramento)

Time: 7:00 pm

The Westside Express