SOCCER PLAYOFFS: Reedley boys’ playoff run ends, Dinuba boys reach D-IV final

No. 6 Ridgeview rallies for two second half goals to stun Pirates by 3-2 score in D-I semi, No. 4 Emperors pull out shootout victory at top-seeded Bishop Union

Reedley High’s Alessandro Lopez (11), shown in action from earlier this season, scored the Pirates’ second goal in a 3-2 loss to Ridgeview High in a Central Section Division 1 semifinal soccer match on Feb. 20. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published February 21, 2024  • 
11:30 am

REEDLEY – Ridgeview High from Bakersfield continued its magical postseason boys soccer run, completing a road sweep of Mid Valley Times regional soccer powers on Tuesday night.

Four days after eliminating No. 3 Sanger High, the No 6 seed Wolf Pack (21-4-1) rallied in the second half to stun the No. 2 Pirates by a 3-2 score in the Central Section Division I semifinal round at Reedley High Soccer Complex. Tri-County Conference champion Reedley finishes the season with an 18-5-3 record, while Ridgeview advances to play at top seed Clovis North at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23.

Equally surprising on Feb. 20 was a Division IV semifinal, with fourth-seeded Dinuba outsourcing top seed Bishop Union 4-2 in a shootout of playing regulation and two overtimes to a 1-1 draw. The Emperors (14-11) travel to Fresno for the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 against No. 2 Justin Garza High (13-11-3), a 2-0 winner over Wasco on Feb. 20.

Ridgeview’s heroes in the comeback upset of Reedley were forward Chris Chavez Sanchez (two goals) and Andrew Orozco (one goal). The visitor scored twice within a six-minute span starting in the 60th minute of the match, then held on down the stretch.

Senior captain Jose Magallon scored in the first half for Reedley, then assisted on a goal by Alessandro Lopez in the 46th minute to push the Pirates ahead. Reedley was coming off an emotional comeback shootout victory over Central on Feb. 16, but despite leading twice couldn’t fend off Ridgeview’s relentless pressure.

The Wolf Pack reached the semifinals with a 1-0 win at Sanger last week. Clovis North (18-1-5) captured the other semifinal by rallying for a 2-1 win over McLane High.

Dinuba 1, Bishop Union 1 (wins 4-2 in shootout)

The Emperors made their long bus ride to eastern California worthwhile with the dramatic road win. After a scoreless first half, Nicolas Ruiz gave Dinuba the lead before the Broncos (13-1-1) tied the match late. Both teams then battled through a pair of overtime periods, with Dinuba prevailing in the shootout.

Senior goalkeeper Bryan Baeza was a star in the shootout, blocking a pair of shots while the Emperors’ shooters came through to secure the victory.

The championship final will be played at the Guardians’ home field at Koligian Stadium in northwest Fresno. Garza scored a goal in each half to put away visiting Wasco.

Jon Earnest