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March 27, 2020

Boys soccer: Grizzlies pounce on Spartans to earn CCS playoff berth

WATSONVILLE–Alan Bedolla put on quite the show for fans in attendance at Wednesday night’s Pacific Coast Athletic League boys soccer play-in game at Watsonville High. 

The Pajaro Valley High junior had some people gasping, while others clapped in amusement as he scored five goals in a 9-0 win against Ceiba College Prep.

“I always came into a game prepared but I was actually nervous because this is a qualifier,” Beolla said. “You can never be too confident in a game so I just went out there and tried my best.”

Bedolla, who now has a team-high 27 goals, has been playing with confidence the entire season. 

The Grizzlies (12-5-3, 6-5-1), who finished second in the PCAL Mission Division, earned a No. 8 seed in the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs.

Ceiba (8-6, 8-2), winners of the PCAL-Arroyo, served as the host in Wednesday night’s play-in game. 

But the Grizzlies felt right at home, having played their home games at Watsonville High this season.

“I was expecting to win but soccer is so unexpected,” Bedolla said.

Pajaro Valley coach Juan Roman said there were still some nerves heading into their match with Ceiba because nothing is just given to them.

“We really needed that automatic bid otherwise we’d be on the bubble,” Roman said. “We couldn’t take first place but this feels good.”

Bedolla scored the first two goals of the game. Yet, Roman said Bedolla didn’t look as sharp, failing to press, not stealing balls and not being able to finish.

“[Bedolla] was sort of hesitant, I don’t know why” Roman said. “But once he got that first goal, then he got the second, he was all confidence from there.”

Guadalupe Medina found a weak spot during a corner kick and he knocked in a beautiful header in the 40th minute that gave the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead going into the half.

Roman said he still wasn’t happy with how the game was going.

“I thought our intensity wasn’t as great as it should be,” Roman said. “We have to go harder.” 

Kevin Rincon scored his first goal shortly after the break, while Bedolla recorded the hat trick in the 52nd minute.

Bedolla’s fourth goal was a masterpiece of his own. He flicked the ball up to himself in prime position for a half volley shot to the back of the net. 

“They sent me a through ball and I saw a defender coming behind me,” he said. “With a little chip, he was going to go and I saw a wide open shot so I blasted it.”  

Rincon scored his second goal of the evening in the 62nd, giving him 24 this season. Samuel Cortez got in on the action, scoring a goal in the 80th.

Bedolla said getting the win and qualifying for the CCS playoffs was a huge deal, especially after coming off last year’s disappointing season.

“Everybody is really confident but we don’t want to get too confident. We want to win [CCS],” he said. “We’re satisfied for now.”