Sims Provides Reseda With Winning Edge


Oscar Sims, a soft-spoken junior forward, carried a big stick for the Reseda High boys' soccer team Saturday night.

Sims scored twice in the final 20 minutes to help the Regents defeat Bell, 3-2, in the City Section final at East Los Angeles College.

Sims' second goal came with two minutes to play, breaking a 2-2 tie and earning Reseda its second City title. The Regents also won the championship in 1988 and are the first Valley team to capture the title since Chatsworth in 1991.

On the winning play, Sims took a pass from Jesse Servin in the center of the field. He dribbled past one defender and, after faking another to the turf at the top of the penalty area, tapped the ball into open space while hurdling his fallen opponent.

Sims beat Eagle goalkeeper Ismael Madrigal with a low, hard shot that ignited a wild celebration among about 300 Reseda supporters.

"I got lucky because I got a rebound off the last defender," said Sims, who finished the season with 21 goals. "I didn't know what to do when [Madrigal] came out at me, I just wanted to put it in."

Reseda (16-2-3) appeared well on its way to a victory after the first half.

The eighth-seeded Regents dodged a bullet in the seventh minute when goalkeeper Jimmy Ordaz stopped a Juan Aceves penalty shot. They took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute on a goal in which Sims also had a hand.

As a 50-yard free kick from Edwin Miranda floated toward Madrigal in the penalty area, Sims ran in front of the goalkeeper and the ball bounced off Madrigal's chest. Rocky Monzon pounced on the gift, scoring from the top of the box for his 19th goal.

"I don't think [Madrigal] ever expected to get the ball; he thought I had already won it," Sims said.

Tenth-seeded Bell (14-5-1) seized the momentum in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The Eagles got a goal from Jesus Leal in the 52nd minute and another from Joselito Rodriguez six minutes later to take a 2-1 lead.

Reseda answered in the 61st minute, beginning when Kenny Zepeda sent a high, 50-yard pass from the left wing toward the right post. Madrigal raced off his line but overran the ball, allowing Sims, who had never broken stride coming down the right wing, to head it in from five yards.

"That one was really lucky," Sims said. "I kind of knew it was going to bounce over him because he came out too late."

Bell Coach Norma Escobedo said Madrigal's miscue was the turning point in a game Reseda deserved to win.

"That second goal . . . it was the one bad mistake by my goalie," she said. "Reseda is the best team we played this year."

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