Los Angeles Soccer: Lucas Bongarra

COLLEGE: Canyons has a quick rise

December, 4, 2010
12/04/10
7:59
PM PT

Celina Baguiao/College of the Canyons athletics
Coach Phil Marcellin started the College of the Canyons' women's program in 1998 and the men's team in 2003.

SANTA CLARITA -- A 1-16-6 campaign had been followed by a 4-16-3 season, and College of the Canyons men's soccer coach Philip Marcellin and his staff sat in their home stadium and watched Cerritos College capture and celebrate the 2008 state junior college championship.

It left them with a most sour taste -- and a resolution.

“We said: We're not hosting [the state final four] again,” Marcellin said, “without making every effort we can to get in it.”

Jump forward two years. The state finals have returned to Canyons, and Marcellin's Cougars are on the cusp of history.

Riding an 11-game winning streak and improbable, or so it seemed, romps over state powers Santa Ana and Fresno City, they've made it to their first state title game and will take on reigning California champion Mt. San Antonio, from Walnut, Sunday morning at 10.

It is, Marcellin notes, “a dream matchup: Home field, defending state champs. … Whatever side we end up on, I don't think we can ask for anything more than that.”

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