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St. Francis soccer rallies to win Ralph Brandt Tournament

Entering the waning moments of regulation, the St. Francis High soccer team pressed for the equalizing goal.

St. Francis got what it needed and carried the momentum into overtime to complete an improbable victory.

Max Weideman scored two goals and Tyler Mallett added one goal to power host St. Francis to a 3-1 overtime win against El Camino Real Charter on Monday in the championship match of the Ralph Brandt Tournament at chilly Friedman Field.

St. Francis (4-0-1) captured the tournament title for the first time since 2007 and fourth overall since 2000.

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Weideman tied it at 1 with about two minutes left in the second half. Weideman scored in the first minute of two five-minute overtime sessions before Mallett added an insurance goal less than a minute later.

“That’s the thing about our group of guys in that they never quit and play it out,” St. Francis coach Glen Appels said. “We go from not scoring in [78] minutes to scoring three goals in about three minutes.

“There’s always somebody pitching in on the team. That’s what makes us go each game. It’s still early in the season, but this is a great win.”

El Camino Real (5-0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute on a 32-yard shot by Luca Carbonari Thomasets that eluded St. Francis standout goalkeeper Luis Granados (four saves).

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St. Francis tied it in the 78th minute on a goal by Weideman, who was mobbed by his teammates.

Armed with confidence, Weideman didn’t waste any time in overtime. Weideman beat El Camino Real goalkeeper Kenny Palos (four saves) in the first minute of overtime.

Mallett then tallied an insurance goal to close out the scoring about 20 seconds later for the Golden Knights.

“Absolutely incredible,” said Weideman, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player. “We came into the game believing we could win against a team that’s scored 16 goals in the tournament and we showed what we can do in coming back like that.

“We stayed with it after we tied it and we were able to stay confident and do those things in overtime. It’s an honor to be named MVP.”

Said Appels: “We beat some very good teams to get here, including Newbury Park and Birmingham. I couldn’t be happier for our guys right now.”

Granados, a reigning All-CIF Southern Section selection, kept the Conquistadors at bay in the first half.

Granados, Mallett, Ethan Gould and Diego Jimenez picked up all-tournament recognition for St. Francis.

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Carbonari Thomasets, Matt Brody and Mosies Gutierrez of El Camino, which won the tournament three times between 2014-17, were selected to the all-tournament team.


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