Sports

Fresno City College men’s soccer and volleyball punch ticket to state

It has been a while since the Fresno City College men’s soccer team last appeared at the state championship.

The Rams don’t have to wait any longer.

NorCal top seed Fresno City scored four overtime goals en route to a 5-2 victory over No. 5 Feather River in sloppy conditions, advancing to the state final four next weekend in Ventura.

“That was one of our best team wins of the year,” Rams coach Eric Solberg said. “We had a lot of chances early in the game and we didn’t finish them, but our guys fought.”

Feather River (18-1-4) tied the match at 1-1 on Ted Cannon’s goal in the 38th minute, but the Rams delivered in overtime as the heavy rain stopped.

Fresno City (18-1-4) decided to switch to a 4-3-3 in overtime and that played dividends, receiving goals from Christian Alvarez, Johnny Rodriguez and two goals by Noel Prieto.

“That was a difference,” Solberg said. “The field was so sloppy, but hats off to our guys. I’m just along for the ride.”

Rodriguez finished with two goals. He had his first goal in the 31st minute and later in the 106th minute.

“It wasn’t in the best conditions,” he said. “We just came out and tried to play our game. Just try to shoot every possible shot I had and we were fortunate enough to go in. Come Monday, we’re going to come prepared and ready to go on Friday.”

The Rams will face So. Cal No. 3 Oxnard on Friday in a state semifinal match at Ventura College. So. Cal top-seed Mt. San Antonio and No. 6 Taft will meet in the other semifinal. Times are yet to be determined.

Fresno City volleyball advances to state – NorCal No. 2 seed Fresno City is headed back to the state championships for the first time since 2012 after defeating No. 10 Feather River 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 27-25.

The Rams (27-1) clinched the match on outside hitter Makayla Cervantes’ service ace.

“To play a team like Feather River ... they pushed us to our limit,” said Cervantes, who finished with six kills, two aces and 11 digs. “We’re going to state now.”

Fresno City will be one of eight teams at the state championships, to be held in Woodland Hills at Los Angeles Pierce College.

In the fourth set, neither team could pull away, but Rams opposite hitter Sydney Molander put her team up 26-25 on her kill.

“I asked our setter for the ball and I felt confident and I just went in and got it,” said Molander, who totaled 12 kills and two blocks. “One of the best feelings in the world. All that hard work in preseason and to come out here to do what we’re able to do is amazing. Proud of my team.”

Rams coach of the year Kieran Roblee, named NorCal coach of the year, enjoyed watching her team stay focused throughout the match.

“Tremendous job,” she said. “I don't think if we won 3, 4, 5 sets it wouldn’t mattered. Feather River battled and I thought our consistency with our passing … we played a smart game.”

The Rams’ 27 wins ties a school record when the 2008 team did that. The Rams finished third in the state that year.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee

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