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Bishop’s kicks way past La Jolla Country Day

Knights win boys soccer crown

All the extra hard work was worth it — and put The Bishop’s School boys soccer team in a position to win their first-round Southern California regional game on Tuesday.

But to get there (and to Wednesday night’s semifinal) the Knights had to go to penalty kicks in their final two games in the CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoffs. Considering the ordeal ended with the Knights hoisting a championship trophy, they weren’t complaining.

Bishop’s beat city rival La Jolla Country Day in the title game March 6, winning 4-3 on PKs after playing to a 1-1 tie through regulation and golden goal overtime.

Bishop’s was selected by a committee to advance to the CIF Southern California regional tournament and beat Elizabeth Learning Center of Cudahy, 4-1, in the first round on March 8. They were scheduled to visit top-seeded Salesian of Los Angeles for a regional semifinal game on March 10. (Go to www.lajollalight.com for updates.)

In the March 6 final, Kyle Jesters scored the Knights’ lone goal on the field, and then goalie Justin Peabody stopped one more shot than Country Day’s keeper did in the PK session.

“With 1,500 Bishop’s fans screaming his name, Justin saved three of the first four penalties to send the passionate Bishop’s fans into a frenzy,” Knights coach Malcolm Tovey said.

Bishop’s last won a D-IV title in 2001. The ’01 title was the school’s 10th in 11 years, but the Knights then went eight straight years without reaching the championship match.

The Knights (13-2-8) were seeded third this year and eased past Maranatha Christian, 7-0, in the first round on Feb. 24. Three days later, they dispatched Christian, 1-0, in the quarterfinals, and on March 3, they topped Santa Ana Mater Dei, on penalty kicks in the semifinals.

The semifinal game was tied at 1 after regulation and golden goal overtime, and Bishop’s won the PKs, 14-13.

Country Day (15-8-3) was seeded fourth and shutout Horizon Christian, 6-0, in the first round on Feb. 24. The Torreys beat quarterfinal opponent Francis Parker, 1-0, on Feb. 27, and topped Holtville, 5-2, in the March 3 semifinals.

“While this was a disappointing loss, it was certainly a great game, and a spectacular season,” Country Day coach Jerry Fleischhacker said.