Requejo, Soriano combine in 2nd OT to put Warriors in semis

The players were sloshing, slipping and sliding all game long, but in the fourth minute of the second golden-goal overtime period, Carpinteria’s Johnny Requejo and Ismael Soriano somehow were able to keep their feet on the rain drenched Memorial Stadium turf and combine for the biggest goal of the season.

Requejo, the precocious freshman, dribbled across the field, stopped and floated a left-footed diagonal cross to the far post, where Soriano leaped up, got his head to the ball before the goalkeeper and nodded it into the net for a dramatic 1-0 victory over top-seeded La Cañada in a CIF Division 5 quarterfinal boys soccer game on Friday.

It was a fantastic finish for the Warriors on a miserable, rainy afternoon. Once Soriano’s header landed in the goal, the players on the bench and fans in the stands rushed the mushy, muddy field to celebrate.

The loss was the first for La Cañada, which finished the season at 23-1-3.

Carpinteria (19-3-3) advances to Tuesday’s semifinals, where it will face Tri-Valley League rival Oaks Christian, a 2-0 winner over Cajon on Friday. The Warriors won both league meetings against the Lions.

An ecstatic Carpinteria coach Danny Torres said it didn’t matter who is team faced in the semifinals. He came up with the local soccer quote of the year.

“I don’t care. We can play Manchester United and we’ll play the same way we played today.”

The Warriors stuck to their style of play, moving the ball on the wet ground, albeit not as quickly as on a dry field. La Cañada also played the ball on the ground.

The teams raced up and down the field early in the match, but as the rain got heavier and the field more saturated, the pace slowed.

La Cañada created three good opportunities in the second half. In the 57th minute, rugged midfielder Cameron Meeker fed a nice through ball to Matthew Cannata but his shot was stopped goalie Erik Rojas.

Rojas also came up big on shot by Armand Bagramyan in the 58th minute.

Carpinteria’s best chance in the second half came on a header by Montes that was saved by La Cañada goalie Jack Hale.

Torres said he was a little worried how his team would handle the elements. But his worries were put to rest as the Warriors knocked the ball around and played solid on the back line.

“The boys can handle it if it’s turf, it’s rain, if it’s snow, We don’t mind, we’ll go after it. We’ll go play on a hockey rink if we have to,” said Torres.

“They’re so focused right now,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s regulation, time, overtime or PKs, we know we’re going to win every game. They are so determined.”

The Warriors’ confidence was boosted by their penalty-kick shootout victory at Arroyo Grande on Wednesday.

“We knew if we brought it home from the last game, we were going to win,” said Requejo, who is a member of the U.S. under-15 national team.

“He’s a special player, and special players make big plays when they’re needed, and he did just that,” said Torres about Requejo’s beautiful pass that led to the goal.

It was tough day to get any kind of accuracy on a crossed ball, but Requejo’s touch on his diagonal pass was textbook. The ball had the right trajectory and speed for Soriano to time his run, jump and meet the ball before La Cañada’s Hale could punch it away.

“The finish by Soriano with the goalie coming out was just incredible,” said Torres.