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SULTANS STRIKE DOWN BARONS TO ADVANCE

EASTCOUNTY BOYS PREP SOCCER

CIF DIVISION II PLAYOFFS

BY ADAM PAUL

#5 SANTANA 4, #12 BONITA VISTA 1

In what could have been a big letdown and disaster for the home team Santana Sultans who came into the playoffs after a hard loss for the league crown last Friday turned into a huge win and big momentum.

For the first time since 2010-11 when T.J. Perez was striking fear into opponents and setting school records the Sultans will be moving on in the CIF playoffs as Omar Nuristani and Lane Dukes scorched the visiting Barons for 2 goals apiece.

With the score 0-0 late in the first half, the Sultans were able to gain an advantage as Nuristani took a pass from Shapol Aziz and blasted past the Barons keeper for the 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, the lead would be short-lived as the Barons would strike back and tie the score 1-1. Santana though just before the half would take the momentum back as Lane Dukes blasted his seventh goal on the season past the goalkeeper courtesy of Aziz to make it 2-1 which would be the score at the intermission.

Leading by the one-goal margin the Sultans in the second half were able to attack and extend their lead thanks to Dukes who scored his second goal of the evening to make it 3-1. They would extend their lead again with about five minutes remaining in the contest when Nuristani matched Dukes with his second goal of the evening to give Santana a 4-1 lead.

The three-goal lead would hold up as the defense of the Sultans continued their dominance over the Barons and frustrated them the rest of the evening until the final whistle blew.

For the Sultans, Andrew Peterson in goal was able to keep the Barons in check after the first half goal as he made six saves on the night.

With the win the Sultans again for the first time since the 2010-11 season advance and for the first time in over a decade advance in the Division II playoffs.

Santana will now hit the road for a trip up North to take on the Oceanside Pirates who are the #4 seed for the right to play in the Semi-Finals.

The win improves the Sultans record to 16-6-4 overall.

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