The 2015 Play-offs began last Saturday afternoon with the AV Panthers seeking their fifth Small School Championship in the last six years. Given the #1 seeding, and following a first round bye, in the quarter-final game they faced #8 San Francisco Waldorf School. The match was played at Tom Smith Field in Boonville alongside the high school, where a crowd of about 100 fans had assembled for the 2pm kick-off on a sunny afternoon in the Valley.
Right from the kick-off it was obvious that the difference in the two line-up’s ability and teamwork was substantial and within ten minutes AV took a 2-0 lead with a brace of well-taken goals from Panther striker David Eligio. However, the hosts then went through some very complacent play during which numerous scoring opportunities were missed. Fortunately, the team played their way out of this and Chirro Tovar added two more goals before the half ended.
AV’s bench players took the field in the second half. Eligio added his third goal and Tovar scored a second-half hat-trick for a total of five in what ended up as a 8-0 victory. SF Waldorf did not manage a single shot on goal during the entire match although their endeavor and commitment could not be questioned. In fact, during the postgame handshakes between the opposing players and coaches, several Waldorf players wished us success in the next play-off match. They were obviously deflated that their season had come to such a crushing end yet still had the sportsmanship and graciousness to express such sentiments, despite their very unpleasant afternoon.
AV’s #1 seeding pits them against #5 St. Elizabeth’s from Oakland in the Semi-final as the Panthers strive to win their fourth successive small school postseason Championship. This match is today, Wednesday, November 11 with a 2.30pm kick-off at Tom Smith Field in Boonville. If AV is victorious, the Championship Game will be on Saturday, November 14, same time, same place, against the winner of the other semi-final. Geyserville (#2) or Contra Costa Christian (#6). As always your support at the matches is much appreciated. We play exciting football and, as I’ve often said, vociferous home crowd support is probably worth a goal a game! Hope to see you there at the game(s)!
(For those regular readers and followers of the team who may be wondering, Calistoga and Roseland Prep, who both finished above the Panthers in the regular season final league standings, are significantly larger schools than AV and are therefore competing in the postseason play-offs for the bigger schools, where they have been given #2 and #4 seedings respectively).
Current record (Won/Loss/Draw): League: 12. 3 – 1. Overall: 17. 3 – 2.