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Castle Park sophomore comes up ‘huge’

03/01/2014, 8:49pm PST
By Greg Ball, Special to the U-T

Trojans advance to Division II semifinals with lopsided win over King-Chavez

— Back in 2010, when Castle Park won its only San Diego Section boys soccer title, Jose Cobian took home a championship ring as an assistant coach. Now in his fourth season as the Trojans’ head coach, he’d like nothing more than to do it again as the leader of the program.

The fourth-seeded Trojans took another step Saturday toward helping Cobian reach that goal, surging to a 6-0 victory over No. 15 King-Chavez in the Division II quarterfinals at Otay Ranch High. Castle Park will play top-seeded Coronado in Wednesday’s semis.

“It means a lot to coach our team to the semifinals,” Cobian said. “I really want it for the kids. I’ve seen the work that they’ve put into the season. We’ve had some struggles, but I told them, ‘Remain patient, don’t lose sight of your goal, and things will come together.’ ”

Cobian, a 1997 Castle Park graduate, took over the Trojans’ program after their championship season. The team advanced to the section semifinals the next year. They followed that with two sub-.500 seasons, but a 14-5-4 record this winter has brought the program back to prominence.

Castle Park led King-Chavez 1-0 at halftime despite dominating possession for most of the opening 40 minutes. The Trojans didn’t allow impatience to change their approach.

When the stormy skies opened up in the second half, so did their offense. Luis Dominguez chipped a ball inside the left post in the 58th minute, Miguel Alvarez found the back of the net three times, and Oscar Liborio added another score for good measure.

The contribution from Alvarez, a sophomore, was significant because the Trojans had relied so heavily this season on Felipe Liborio, but the 22-goal scorer has been slowed by a leg injury.

“Felipe has been our go-to guy, and I told the guys that if an injury happens, somebody is going to have to step up,” Cobian said. “Today, Miguel was huge for us.”

Said Alvarez: “In practice, we really work on just touching the ball, and we know that the goals will come if we just stay patient and we just work on possession.”

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