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Published Februray 25th, 2015
Campolindo to NCS Semifinals, Miramonte Knocked Out
Jeremy Raine Photo Gint Federas

Campolindo's boys' soccer team has advanced to the semifinals of the NCS Division II Soccer Championship. The other program to qualify for the playoffs, Miramonte, lost in the opening round.
The NCS Championship almost came to a quick end for Campolindo. On Feb. 18, the Cougars (10-1-1), overcame an early 2-1 deficit to get past Concord 4-2 thanks to a hat trick from senior Jeremy Raine.
Raine handed Campolindo a 1-0 edge just five minutes into the game, as he headed home off of a corner kick. However, Concord answered back quickly, pouring in a pair of goals in the next 15 minutes.
"Honestly there was a bit of nerves on the bench," said head coach Shane Carney after his team went into the locker room down 2-1. "Even though we've had a good season, we're still really young and an inexperienced team."
A quick talk got the Cougars back on track. "Half time was a nice way to kind of sit down and talk with the boys, get the nerves calmed down and just get them focused on working hard, which I think was really the difference," Carney explained. "We didn't change much between the first half and the second half, the guys just stepped it up and worked harder."
As Carney noted, the plan for the final 40 minutes was simple: "At halftime, we said the goal was to win the second half 3-0. So we went out and did it."
The Cougars dominated possession early on after the break, and in the 54th minute senior Sam Larson crashed in the deflection off a free kick to level the score at 2-2. In the 71st minute, Raine gave Campolindo the lead as he dragged his shot just inside the right post. Just two minutes later, Raine sealed the win and completed his hat trick with a close-range shot.
In the quarterfinals, the Cougars needed an extra-time strike from senior Skip Buchanan to beat Ygnacio Valley 2-1 on Feb. 21. Senior Seth Kofman supplied Campolindo's first goal, connecting on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute.
Up next for Campolindo will be a trip to face No. 1 Richmond on Feb. 25.
In the opening round, the Mats, who were the No. 14 seed, lost 2-0 to the No. 3 seed De Anza on Feb. 18. Even though the Mats ended up on the wrong side of the score line, head coach Billal Samy praised the team's performance.
"[They] were not too afraid of the top-ranked seeds. They have a fighting mentality, they always want to compete. For us, it didn't matter who we played. We felt that we could compete with any of these teams and on any given day we could get the result."
Against De Anza, it was a couple of second-half strikes from the home team that determined the result.
"In the end, I think we gave up two goals that should have been better handled by our defense, but that's the way the game is," said Samy.
For the Mats, the 2014-15 season was the program's most successful campaign in nearly a decade. "We made a huge accomplishment in getting to the playoffs for the first time after eight years," said Samy, whose team landed in third place in the DFAL standings after going 5-3-4. "It was quite the achievement for the players."

Sam Larson

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