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Clutch saves by La Jolla keeper

03/05/2016, 6:28pm PST
By Ed Wehde

Vikings capture Division IV title after penalty-kick shootout wins in semifinals and finals

CHULA VISTA -- Tai Nguyen did it again for La Jolla.
 
The junior goalkeeper saved two of the three shots he faced in a penalty-kick shootout, nudging the third-seeded Vikings past No. 4 Lincoln 4-2 in PKs after they played to a scoreless draw through regulation and overtime in the Division IV boys soccer finals at Olympian High on Saturday.
 
Nguyen also keyed La Jolla’s shootout win over Serra in the San Diego Section semifinals.
 
“If you told me at the beginning of the year that we would win a CIF championship after winning in PKs two games in a row, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Nguyen said. “But I’ll take it.”
 
The title was the 10th for the Vikings (7-8-5) — who have lost only once in 11 finals — but first since they won Division II in 1998. La Jolla finished fourth in the tough Western League this season.
 
“The (current) coaches haven’t been here very long, so we’re happy about getting back on the right track,” Vikings coach Marcos Gonzalez said.
 
“We plan on being here a long time, so hopefully there will be the long list (of titles), then the gap, then another long list.”
 
Lincoln (10-8-6), last year’s Division V champion, missed a chance to win the second title in the program’s history.
 
Wehde is a freelance writer. 

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