SOCCER PLAYOFFS: Sanger West boys prevail over Parlier in Division V battle

Dinuba and Orosi win to set up D-IV quarter final showdown, Immanuel to next play top seed Woodlake after blanking Yosemite in D-VI

Parlier High’s Brayan Valdez Penaloza, second from right, is mobbed by his happy teammates after scoring the then-tying goal during the second half of the Panthers’ 2-1 loss to Sanger West High in a Central Section Division V boys soccer first round match in Parlier on Feb. 14. (Jon Earnest)
Parlier High’s Brayan Valdez Penaloza, second from right, is mobbed by his happy teammates after scoring the then-tying goal during the second half of the Panthers’ 2-1 loss to Sanger West High in a Central Section Division V boys soccer first round match in Parlier on Feb. 14. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published February 15, 2024  • 
11:30 am

PARLIER – The playoff intensity was on full display Wednesday night at Parlier High Stadium during the first round Central Section Division V boys soccer matchup between the Parlier High Panthers and visiting Sanger West High Hornets.

The visitors grabbed the lead on a first-half goal, and the teams then swapped scores in the final 16 minutes of regulation. The decisive goal came from Mario Solar in the 75th minute, which provided the difference in a 2-1 Hornets triumph.

The win advances Sanger West (8-11-9) to the quarterfinals round on Friday, Feb. 16. The Hornets will play in a 6 p.m. match at No. 3 seed RIverdale, a 1-0 winner over No. 14 McFarland on Feb. 14. The loss ended the season for the Panthers (15-9-2), who finished in third place in the Northwest Sequoia League and carried a three-match unbeaten streak into the postseason.

Juan Martinez scored  for Sanger West about 20 minutes in, and for much of the second half it appeared the Hornets would make the lead stand up as the defense prevented any serious scoring threats. But in the 64th minute, senior Brayan Valdez Penaloza made a deft move into the middle of the field, freeing himself for a shot and fired it into the right corner of the net for the equalizer.

That set up a frenzied physical stretch run that included a yellow card issued to Parlier. A late rush by the Hornets resulted in Solar slamming home a shot from out front, and the visitors were able to protect the late through the waning minutes.

In other first round boys matches on Wednesday:

Dinuba 4, Farmersville 0

At Dinuba High stadium, four different players scored and senior goalkeeper Bryan Baeza collected his second shutout of the season as the No. 4 seed Emperors (12-11) breezed past the No. 13 seed Aztecs (15-8-4). The win sets up a home quarterfinal matchup against eastern Tulare County neighbor Orosi at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16.

Adrian Abarca and Angel Rodriguez scored in the first half to give the Emperors a two-goal advantage. David Garcia and Rocco Munoz then added goals in the final 40 minutes to complete the rout. Alexis Chavez had a pair of assists while Angel Delgado and Yovanni Hernandez also assisted on scores.

Friday’s winner will advance to play the winner of top-seed Bishop Union (12-0-1) and No. 8 Lemoore (12-9-5) on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Orosi 2, Granite Hills 1

At Orosi High, the fifth-seeded Cardinals (18-6-2) got first-half goals from senior Santiago Isai Cisneros and Juan Rodriguez Estrada before hanging on to defeat the No. 12 seed Grizzlies (14-9-5). Seniors Anthony Bermejo and Daniel Gonzalez Flores added assists for Orosi.

Wednesday’s playoff was the second time Orosi and Granite Hills played this season. The Cardinals and Grizzlies battled to a 2-2 draw in a non-league match on Jan. 12.

Immanuel 2, Yosemite 0

At  County Line Stadium in Reedley, the No. 8 seed Eagles (12-10-3) set up a quarterfinal showdown at top-seeded Woodlake on Friday, Feb. 16 by posting a 2-0 shutout of No. 9 Yosemite High.

Senior Talen Case scored his 13th goal of the season in the sixth minute of play to put Immanuel ahead to stay. Junior Romauldo Quintal then tallied his ninth goal in the second half for insurance, and the defense led by senior goalkeeper Nic Coleman preserved the shutout. Freshman Carter Zulik, who also has 13 goals for the Eagles, assisted on both scores against the Badgers.

Woodlake (14-10-4) easily won its opener by a 3-0 score against No. 16 seed Orcutt Academy.

Home matches Friday for Reedley, Sanger boys

Division I high seeds Reedley and Sanger will host 6 p.m. quarter final matches at their respective home fields on Friday, Feb. 16 after receiving first round byes. The second-seeded Pirates (17-4-3) take on No. 10 seed Central (10-8-8) at Reedley Soccer Complex while the No. 3 Apaches (15-5-3) entertain the No. 6 Ridgeview Wolf Pack (19-4-1) at Tom Flores Hall of Fame Stadium.

Central pulled off a 2-0 upset of No. 7 seed San Luis Obispo, while Ridgeview defeated No. 11 Clovis West, 4-2. Reedley and Central met once earlier this season, with the Pirates collecting a 3-1 victory in Fresno on Nov. 17.

Jon Earnest
Reporter