CCSF men's soccer eyeing a state title

As the City College of San Francisco men’s soccer team labored up and down the hill between the school’s gym and library on a soggy winter day in February, coach Adam Lucarelli reminded his players about why they conditioned themselves so hard.

“I said, ‘Guys, we’re not doing this for now, we’re doing this for the playoffs six months from now,’” Lucarelli said.
After the Rams qualified for their second straight CCCAA Final Four last week, the team’s top goal scorer, Arnulfo Garcia, recalled those grueling runs.

“He said, ‘Hey coach, remember what you said when we were running hill repeats in the rain? It worked out,’” Lucarelli said.

After losing 2-0 to eventual national champion Mt. San Antonio, in last year’s Final Four, the Rams (18-0-4) committed themselves to one goal: winning a state championship. It’s what the guys talked about in the weight room, at practice and on those steep climbs up the hill. The Rams will get a chance to reach that goal at the Final Four in Walnut this weekend.

“We never deviated from that goal,” Lucarelli said. “We’ve been saying it for about nine months now.”

But first, the Coast Conference champions will need to beat Golden West in the state semifinal today. If they do, they’ll meet up with either Mt. San Antonio or Taft in the state title game Sunday.

The key to a CCSF victory is defense. The undefeated Rams allowed the fewest goals (11) in the state this season playing an Italian style of game with high-pressure defense and a quick counter attack. Sacred Heart Cathedral product Juan Palacio and center midfielder Alfredo Castaneda are the glue that binds the defense to offense, while Albany High graduates Andre Alvarez and Klan Ahmadi serve as a wall on the back line.

If the Rams can execute, all that talk about a state title could be realized.

“I don’t think we have to adjust our game too much,” he said. “We just have to play up to our potential.”

Bay Area NewscollegeeducationMen's soccersports

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read