Cory Hodge delivered to Claremont High School its first CIF Southern Section boys soccer title in 17 years, heading home an overtime throw-in as the Wolfpack posted an improbable 3-2 victory over Capistrano Valley in the Division 2 final Saturday night at Mission Viejo High School.
Hodge outleapt Capo Valley's backline to flick Brennen Carter's throw-in into the net 5½ minutes into the extra period as Claremont (21-1-5) weathered a hectic finish to regulation and start to overtime to snare their second boys soccer championship.
Capistrano Valley, from Mission Viejo, twice rallied from deficits, with Kyle Smith knotting the score, 2-2, with 43 seconds remaining in regulation. But the Cougars (16-6-7) were twice denied winning goals, with Mario Soto's strike hitting the net just after time expired in the second half and a controversial offside call waving off Smith's redirection of Luis Vasquez's free kick three minutes into OT.
Steven Barba gave Claremont a third-minute goal, and Kevin Baboiyan pulled the Capo Valley even with a 56th-minute penalty kick after a Hodge hand ball. Carter restored the lead in the 65th.
Southern Section finals Friday and Saturday also were played at Warren High School in Downey.
In other championship games:
San Clemente 2, Santa Barbara 1
Kevin Gould and Bryan Fouch scored first-half goals and the Tritons (17-6-6) staved off a second-half surge by Santa Barbara to win their first boys soccer title. Gould knocked home a rebound in the 17th minute and Fouch tallied after a Fabian Caudillo takeaway in the final minute of the half. The Dons, who won the Division 2 championship last year and were seeking their seventh boys soccer title, applied heavy pressure throughout the second half and halved the deficit on Sanford Spivey's 57th-minute goal.
Paramount 2, Fontana 1
The fourth-seeded Pirates (18-2-6) claimed their second successive Division 3 title, holding on for the final half-hour after a red card left them with 10 players. Edgar Martinez scored in the first minute and Salvador Velasquez made it 2-0 after dispossessing a defender four minutes into the second half, but Fontana, which won three playoff games in overtime, applied heavy pressure after Alejandro Muñoz was sent off with 29 minutes to go. Mishael Cano tallied in the 78th minute for the Steelers. Paramount goalkeeper Tony Maldonado made a diving stop on Isac Fonseca's first-half penalty kick.
El Rancho (Pico Rivera) 4, Oak Hills (Hesperia) 2
Francisco Lara scored two goals, his fourth and fifth of the playoffs, as the Dons (23-2-2) claimed their first boys soccer crown since 2003. Lara netted the winner in the 65th minute, volleying home Cristian Roldan's header from Johnny Molina's corner kick, and Erik Argueta added an insurance goal six minutes later with a free kick that ricocheted off Oak Hills' wall. Alejandro Haro also tallied for El Rancho, and Brett Croft and Juan Nuno scored superb goals for the Bulldogs, who lost in the Division 6 final last year.
Baldwin Park 1, Carpinteria 0
Andres Gonzalez weaved through Carpinteria's box and beat goalkeeper Erik Rojas to the near post to give the Braves (20-3-2), playing in their second final in three years, their first boys soccer title. Baldwin Park prevailed in a testy encounter, taking charge after shutting down freshman midfielder John Requejo Jr., a U.S. under-15 national team pool player, in the second half.
Citrus Hill (Perris) 2, Desert Hot Springs 1
Victor Avalos and Sergio Camacho scored first-half goals to carry the Hawks (14-6-3), who wrapped up a tremendous playoff run after finishing fourth in the Mountain Pass League and emerging from the wild-card round. Avalos gave Citrus Hill a seventh-minute lead and Camacho scored the winner in the 34th, six minutes after Ronald Lange scored for Desert Hot Springs from twin brother Jon's feed.
Cate (Carpinteria) 3, Mammoth (Mammoth Lakes) 1
Freshman Teddy Mauze scored a second-half hat trick, and the Rams (22-0-0) claimed their first boys soccer title with an emphatic victory. Cate fell behind on Emilio Flores' first-half goal, just the second time it has trailed this season, but Mauze knocked in rebounds in the 41st and 72nd minutes and added a fine strike in the 76th. The Rams were led by Ghanaian defender Joshua Yaro and forward Ema Boateng -- both from the Right to Dream movement that produced rookie MLS defender Michel Tetteh from UC Santa Barbara.