June 21, 2024

The City Section soccer playoffs are still two months away, but Marquez established itself as a major threat to win the boys Division I title after defeating Fremont 4-2 in a shootout in the finals of the South East Winter Classic on Tuesday night at Gahr High in Cerritos.

Sophomore Marvin Vasquez stepped to the penalty spot and calmly fired the game-winning kick inside the right post, setting off a wild celebration by the Gladiators (8-1-4). Goalkeeper Irvin Yanez made two saves, the second when he dove to his right to get his glove on a low shot that ricocheted off the goal post and back onto the field of play, never crossing the line.

Marquez goalkeeper Irvin Yanez holds the championship trophy after making two saves in the shootout against Fremont.

Marquez goalkeeper Irvin Yanez, right, holds the championship trophy after making two saves in the shootout against Fremont.

(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

“Once I saw our goalie block the second shot I knew I had a chance to end it,” Vasquez said. “I was confident I’d make it, I picked a side and went for it. Looking at his feet, I noticed the goalie leaning to the other side, so I chose the opposite corner.”

Senior defender Edgar Auscencio, who had five assists in the tournament, was named most valuable player and presented a new soccer ball and Yanez took home the best goalkeeper trophy.

“Winning this is a big deal because there were a lot of good teams at this tournament and we came out on top,” Vasquez added. “Our team is closer than ever, we play for each other, the chemistry is great and we definitely want to win City.”

The first 40 minutes were evenly played, with each side generating quality chances but not able to finish. The score was tied 0-0 at the end of regulation. The Pathfinders (14-1-2) earned six corner kicks in the second half but were unable to capitalize and senior forward Franklin Orellena narrowly missed two direct free kicks from just outside of the penalty area.

Fremont striker Franklin Orellena dribbles between Luis Viera and Edgar Auscencio, of Marquez

Fremont striker Franklin Orellena dribbles between Luis Viera and Edgar Auscencio of Marquez in the South East Winter Classic final.

This year, the tournament expanded from 24 to 32 teams, all but four of them representing the City Section. The field was broken down into eight groups of four teams each, with the top two from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

Fremont tied Fairfax 1-1 before beating Camino Nuevo 3-0, Sotomayor 5-0, Animo Bunche 2-1, King/Drew 2-0 and Palisades 2-1 on its way to the final. Marquez tied Wilson 2-2 then blanked Animo Bunche 3-0, beat Morningside by forfeit, shut out Fairfax 3-0 and Hamilton 2-0 and edged Torres on penalties en route to the final.

Fremont forward Joshua Valenzuela, goalie Adrian Trujillo and midfielder Ricky Molina made the all-tournament first team as did Marquez forward Ruben Rodriguez.

South East Winter Classic past results

2011-12
Winner: South
Runner up: East Locke

2012-13
Winner: South
Runner up: East Locke

2013-14
Winner: Locke
Runner up: South East

2014-15
Winner: South Gate
Runner up: West Adams

2015-16
Winner: Fremont
Runner up: South Gate

2016-17
Winner: Granada Hills
Runner up: Locke

2017-18
Winner: South Gate
Runner up: Sotomayor

2018-19
Winner: Jefferson
Runner up: Locke

2019-20
Winner: Marquez
Runner up: Bright Star

2020-21
Canceled

2021-22
Winner: Birmingham
Runner up: South East

2022-23
Winner: Bell
Runner up: South East

2023-24
Winner: Marquez
Runner up: Fremont

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