On the heels of an impressive, 4-1, romp past Del Norte in last Friday’s CIF section championship game, the Torrey Pines boys soccer team made another strong statement in Tuesday afternoon’s CIF Southern California Regional Championship opener, eliminating visiting Mission Viejo, 4-0.
The second-seeded Falcons (22-3-2), will now host No. 3 L.A. Loyola (23-3-3) Thursday at 4 p.m. The Cubs, who defeated Mission Viejo, 3-0, in the semi-finals of the CIF Southern Section tournament last week, tied Torrey Pines when the two teams met the first week in January. The winner of Thursday’s rematch will advance to the Regional Final Saturday at the home of the highest remaining seed.
“Just like the other night, we stayed focused through the whole time, not laying out, not giving them goals,” said Head Coach Andy Hargreaves. “Just having that right mentality was key—we found our groove again and got a good result.”
After a taut first 10 minutes, Torrey Pines began asserting itself and dismantled the Diablos in a business-like fashion despite the relatively chippy nature of play. The Falcons’ first score came on a stellar individual effort by senior Jake Kosakoff. In the 14th minute, playing in an attacking midfield role, the versatile Kosakoff took a feed from his younger brother, Charlie, carried it down the left side, showed the ball to the defender with his right foot, pulled it back and got the corner before firing a precisely-aimed, low, left-footer into the far side of the goal.
“I haven’t scored in a while and just being able to produce something for my team, since I felt a little off in the CIF games, it felt good,” said Kosakoff. “The first goal didn’t come as early as it did against Del Norte but we kept playing our game and once we got it, we didn’t let up.”
Charlie Kosakoff also assisted on two other goals. With 13:50 remaining in the first half, he separated from his defender along the end line right of the goal, crossed the ball to senior Jose Salgado who drilled in his own rebound, extending a personal post-season goal-scoring streak to four games.
In the second half, junior Tye Barton was the target of a cross from Emil Zelkind and volleyed a one-timer inside the near post for Torrey’s third goal and with 10:40 to go, a tic-tac-toe corner kick went Charlie Kosakoff to Zach Lesher to Chris Tonelli, Lesher heading the corner to the six-yard box where Tonelli tapped it in.
“I think it was good that every single guy that stepped on the field came out and played super, super hard regardless of how the game was going or what the score was,” said the elder Kosakoff. “It set a good tone for the next two games.” One down, two to go.