After 160 minutes on the field and five goals apiece, it’s still inconclusive. But today, Mission and O’Connell will have no choice but to answer the question of who is the best boys’ soccer team in the Academic Athletic Association.
Top-seeded Mission, which went 12-0-2 to win the AAA regular-season title, and No. 2 O’Connell, which went 11-0-3, will meet this afternoon at 1 p.m. at Boxer Stadium for the playoff title. The teams tied both times they faced each other this year, but this time, they’ll stay on the field until a champion is decided.
Mission will be looking for its second straight AAA title and 33rd overall. O’Connell has never won the AAA crown and last claimed a league title of any kind in 1971, when the Boilermakers won the Bay Counties League championship.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” O’Connell coach Bob Gamino said. “A lot of the kids know each other and grew up playing together. It should be a lot of fun.”
The game promises to be entertaining as both teams love to push the ball and attack. Mission has outscored opponents 73-11 this year (including a 2-0 semifinal win over Galileo on Wednesday), while O’Connell has been nearly as dominant, compiling a 68-20 goal differential.
The Boilermakers’ attack is led by tenacious striker Jesus Ochoa, who scored twice in O’Connell’s 4-3 semifinal win over Lowell after having a league-high 34 goals in the regular season. Edgar Gomez-Carreto leads Mission with 29 goals and his clutch score against Galileo in the 68th minute Wednesday broke a scoreless tie.
The winner of today’s game will advance to the best-of-three TransBay series against Oakland Athletic League winner Fremont, beginning Monday at 2:30 p.m. at Boxer.