SAN BERNARDINO—It was the perfect ending to a near perfect season. Aquinas Boys Soccer (28-3) won the Division 7 CIF title exactly 20 years, to the day, after the Falcons last won a CIF title in that sport.
Four members of the 1998 championship team, and the coach, sat at the top of the stadium at Corona High School on that rainy championship Saturday in early March to cheer on their brothers. The energy was high and the Falcons performed at a top level to defeat Lawndale Environmental Charter High School 3-1 for the title.
Before the 2018 boys soccer season even began the Aquinas student body was excited about the 11 talented boys who would take the field in late November 2017. The high hopes for the boys exceeded the expectations of the 495 members of the student body. The boys went all the way. They won an Ambassador League title, a CIF title, and were victorious in the first round of the CIF state regional game versus West Shores High School, winning 4-0. The students rallied around this team and took a rooter bus all over Southern California to experience the championship run.
The 2018 championship team will graduate eight seniors. One of whom, Jardel Santos, is the Most Valuable Player of the Ambassador League. Santos led the team in goals scored with 38 on the season. There are many strong underclassmen on the team including junior goalkeeper Fabrisio Lopez, who earned 17 shutouts in the net this season.
CIF titles do not come easy. They require hard work, commitment, talent, and coaching to name a few. Aquinas High School is blessed to have won two CIF titles this school year. Football kicked off the year with a title in the fall season and Boys Soccer jogged in their footsteps to a CIF title in the winter. A third title in the spring would be the icing on the cake. Go Falcons!