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REV runs over Pack 4-0 in in Carter Cup

Claremont High School boys soccer got to compete in the 2016 Carter Champions Cup because of their shared Palomares League title last year. However, last Friday the Pack had very little to celebrate as they lost to Redlands East Valley, 4-0, in the third round.

Claremont came out like a storm and looked like they would dominate the momentum, but could never capitalize on many missed opportunities to get on the board. Redlands East Valley, on the other hand, was very successful at getting every possession to count, scoring three goals in rapid succession about halfway through the first half.

Senior midfielder Alec Hooper scored the first two goals including one after a slight mix-up in front of the Pack’s net. His second one came only a few minutes later on a break-away that appeared to be the result of a missed offsides call.

Brandon Lee got the third goal on a corner kick and the wildcats went into the halftime break up 3-0.

During the second half, the play was a lot more balanced and Claremont had several opportunities to get on the board. But every time, they either failed to get the ball in the right place or were foiled by the top- notch play from REV’s goalkeeper Rene Gonzalez.

The fourth and final goal came halfway through the second half, when senior Nick Perez fed the ball to senior Justin Litchfield for another beautifully executed play.

Asked if he was surprised by the lopsided result, Redlands East Valley coach Ted Small was pretty blunt.

“I think they [Claremont] have a good program but keep in mind, we are ranked number two in the state and fifth in the nation. With our run last year and our experience, we are used to winning. Until that stops, until someone puts us in our place,  we are going to come into every game believing we are going to win and believing it’s going to be lopsided to be honest,” Coach Small said.

The Wildcats are the defending CIF Southern Section division three champions, defeating Cathedral on penalty kicks last year in the finals. REV also defeated Quartz Hill 3-2 in the semi final match, the same team that eliminated Claremont in the second round.

“Lopsided victory? Very much so,” said Coach Fred Bruce-Oliver. “As soon as they win the ball, they are going over the top and forward and pretty much every time they got in and the guy scored goals. We got caught watching and were slow on our feet. When we got the ball, we tried to play soccer—that’s what I am encouraged about. It did not result in goals or anything. I think it really shows our inexperience.”

The coach of Carter High invited the previous season’s league champions in the southern section to be in the tournament that serves as a start to the new season. The tournament is run round-robin style with two sets of four teams.

Claremont came in third in their group and were scheduled to play the third-place team in the other group. But because that team was Diamond Bar, a Palomares league opponent, the two agreed to switch and play non-league opponents. Claremont defeated Diamond Ranch 4-1 and Diamond Bar beat Ganesha.

“It costs $485 per team. I wish I thought of that racket,” Coach Bruce-Oliver said.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com