Thursday evening's Hayward Area Athletic League boys soccer match between San Lorenzo and Bishop O'Dowd high schools featured everything a fan could want: high-quality teams, fast-paced play, action at both ends and plenty of drama and excitement.
In the end, host Bishop O'Dowd earned a 3-2 victory -- after squandering a two-goal lead -- as Max Ornstil scored the game-winner in the 74th minute.
Ornstil's heroics came after Max Oldham had made a beautiful run through the heart of the Rebels defense. Ornstil finished the job with a well-placed shot to the lower right corner of the net.
"All year, we've started really strong, but once again, we had a mid-game lull," O'Dowd coach Greg Rubendall said. "(My players) were disappointed in letting (the Rebels) back in the game, but they fought back. They did a good job of adjusting to the other team's strengths."
The Dragons (10-2-2, 6-1-1 HAAL) took a 1-0 lead just 57 seconds into the match as Alexis Lizama stole a ball and made good on the first shot for either team. Less than five minutes later, Ornstil scored off head pass from Carson Swafford.
The Rebels (10-2-1, 6-2) tied it before halftime as Guillermo Ramirez scored off a cross from Victor Benavides at 22:12 and Victor Rodriguez put home a shot off a short centering pass from Ramon Alcazar at 36:23.
Rebels goalkeeper Oscar Sauceda had five saves, including one on an Ornstil breakaway. Dragons keeper John Marcuzzo had three
San Ramon Valley 3, California 0: Wolves coach Mark Jones had no complaints after his team scored three quality goals in an 11-minute span in the first half and stymied the visiting Grizzlies to remain unbeaten.
"We're playing well," Jones said.
Freshmen Allie Dutto and Morgan Idso scored in the 26th and 30th minutes, respectively, to make it 2-0 for San Ramon Valley (10-0-3, 5-0-1 East Bay Athletic League). Reilly Parker rounded out the scoring off a Shannon Hennessy assist in the 37th minute.
One minute before Dutto's goal, San Ramon Valley goalkeeper Beth Ritter made a big save with her foot to keep the match scoreless.
Idso's goal was a beauty. After the Wolves sent a free kick toward the far post, Hennessy leaped and headed the ball across the goalmouth before a quick-reacting Idso tapped it in.
Known for its tenacious style, California (7-2-5, 2-1-3) pressed the attack immediately after the Wolves' first two goals, but Ritter and a sturdy defense held firm. California goalkeeper Lauren Holden made back-to-back tough saves on shots from Parker and Dutto in the second half.
The Wolves defense featured poised center backs Caitlin LaHonta and Amanda Davis and outside backs Hannah Koski and Alyssa Alarab, who pushed forward effectively on the flanks.
On the first goal, Dutto raced past two defenders and pocketed the shot.
-- Matt Schwab
Tracy 51, Franklin-Stockton 21: The visiting Bulldogs forced more turnovers (26) than they allowed points in San Joaquin Athletic Association action at Gus Gallagher Gym.
"The nicest thing is I think I can say that this is finally our first complete game," Tracy coach Derek Solano said. "It is great I was able to get everyone in for some quality minutes and that we were finally able to sustain a lead.
"We have had leads before and let them falter. It was good that we were able to finish."
Catherine Gibson had 13 points and five rebounds for Tracy (10-10, 1-1 SJAA), which yielded just 12 points through three quarters.
"We had to keep our intensity up out there," Gibson said. "We rotated the ball around and got back on defense really well."
The Bulldogs out-rebounded Franklin 43-36 as Taylor Bobbitt had eight rebounds and two blocks. Karsi Fyfe, Monique Stevenson and Ari Grimes had five rebounds each.
Darmarisha Williams led the Yellowjackets (1-15, 0-2) with seven points, all in the fourth quarter. Simone Bracey and Mercedes Hinojosa each had eight rebounds for Franklin.
-- Dave Campbell, correspondent
"I Have a Dream" Classic: The Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" Classic will now be held at Laney College in Oakland on Monday. The event was originally scheduled for Cal State East Bay and then later changed to Oakland High.
Game times have been adjusted: Reno vs. Fremont (noon), Moreau Catholic vs. Skyline (2 p.m.), Berkeley vs. Oakland Tech (4 p.m.), Rodriguez-Fairfield vs. McClymonds (6 p.m.) and Deer Valley vs. Oakland (8 p.m.).
-- Jimmy Durkin
Leaf commits: Alhambra running back/linebacker Jared Leaf orally committed to San Jose State, the Bulldogs' leading rusher said Thursday.
"A big part was it's close to home," Leaf said.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Leaf started at middle linebacker and rushed for 1,381 yards and 18 touchdowns in nine regular-season games. He also had offers from Army, Navy and Sacramento State. He had also drawn interest from Cornell, an Ivy League school that doesn't offer athletic scholarships.
Leaf said the position he'll play in college will be determined once he makes it to San Jose.
"It'll be wherever I fit in best for them," he said.
-- Ben Enos