Varsity Boys Soccer

Palo Alto 0, Bellarmine 0

Date of competition: Saturday, February 28, 2009

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Comments: 12

They played 110 minutes in the Central Coast Section Division I boys' soccer title match on Saturday at Milpitas High. When it was over, Bellarmine Prep hoisted the championship trophy. When the Bells were done, it was Palo Alto's turn.

It was time to share because there was only one trophy and two champions. Make that co-champions. Top-seeded Palo Alto (21-1-3) got a share of its fourth section title and No. 2 Bellarmine (16-3-7) got a share of its 14th. It was a fitting end to an evenly played match against arguably the two best teams in the CCS.

"Well," said Paly coach Don Briggs, "it beats losing. A loss would have been devastating."

This was Palo Alto's third straight appearance in a CCS finale, the previous two coming in Division II. The Vikings lost both of those title matches and were on a mission to make sure it didn't happen again.

"It's not as satisfying as we'd hoped," said Paly senior keeper Peter Johnson, "but after the past two years, we'll take it.

"We played our best game, without giving up any goals in the biggest game of the year. We are champions. Finally." >Br> Palo Alto last won a CCS (Division II) title in 2000, the same year Bellarmine won the Division I crown. The Vikings also won in 1998 and 1971.

"It's definitely not as good (as an outright title)," Johnson said. "It would have been nice to score. But, we played our best game and I'm happy we made this happen."

Johnson, who arguably played his best match of the season because he blanked the Bells for 110 minutes, said his teammates took a corny saying by Briggs to heart.

"His classic saying is 'refuse to lose,'" Johnson said. "And that's what we did. We refused to lose. We weren't about to walk off the field lie we did the past two years."

Palo Alto lost to Pajaro Valley in overtime last season and Gonzales in Johnson's sophomore year.

"It was a great run," Briggs said of the season, which saw the Vikings lose just once (2-0 to Gilroy in the Homestead Christmas Cup in December). Paly allowed just one goal during an 11-0-1 SCVAL De Anza Division championship season and earned the No. 1 seed for the CCS playoffs.

CCS Division I championship
At Milpitas High
Bellarmine 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Palo Alto 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0
(Palo Alto and Bellarmine share title, no penalty kicks)
Records: Bellarmine finishes season 16-3-7; Palo Alto 21-1-3

posted by Palo Alto Online on Feb 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Comments: 2

Peter Johnson played phenominal
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posted by Greg on Feb 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm
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posted by Keith Peters on Mar 1, 2009 at 10:22 am

Palo Alto senior Kevin Ashworth helped keep the offense rolling by controlling things in the air against Bellarmine in Saturday's Division I championship match that ended in a co-title. Photo by Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online.

Palo Alto senior keeper Peter Johnson (red) collides with Bellarmine's Matt Taylor (13) during the team's 0-0 deadlock in the CCS Division I title match Saturday. Photo by Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online.

Palo Alto's Michael Hanabusa (right) gives fellow senior Peter Johnson a hug following their final prep match, a 0-0 deadlock with Bellarmine that earned the teams a CCS co-title on Saturday. Photo by Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online.

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