A pair of freshmen brought an end to the career of one of the longest-tenured boys soccer coaches in the Fresno area.
Wayne Rutledge scored off a feed from fellow freshman Josh Tyburski in the 94th minute to lift eighth-seeded Clovis North High to a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 9 Sunnyside and retiring coach Michael Sosa on Tuesday during the opening round of the Central Section Division I playoffs.
“It was a nice buildup by Josh to split the two players,” Rutledge said. “And I just put it away.”
The duo also combined to give Clovis North a 1-0 lead when Tyburski scored off a quick throw-in from Rutledge with 30 seconds left in the first half.
“I just knew I had a long throw, so I linked up with him,” Rutledge said. “We have that freshman link.”
We have that freshman link.
Wayne Rutledge said of fellow freshman Josh Tyburski, who combined to produce both goals in Clovis North’s 2-1 victory over Sunnyside in the Central Section Division I boys soccer playoffs. Each had a goal and an assist.
The Broncos (8-9-4) advance to the quarterfinals, where they will play at top-seeded and two-time defending division champion Buchanan (16-1-7) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Clovis North has lost twice (3-0 on Jan. 22 and 1-0 on Feb. 9) to the Bears this season and was ousted by Buchanan 1-0 in the semifinals of the D-I playoffs last year.
“You want to get a win and get rolling, then anything can happen,” Broncos coach Chad McCarty said. “The boys got it done. We’re excited for the opportunity to play Buchanan again. For a long time, they have been the cream of the crop around the Valley. Our team is young and has nothing to lose.”
Clovis North received a stellar effort from freshman reserve goalkeeper Emilio Cordero, who was pressed into duty midweay through the first half after starter Ryan Moffitt suffered a serious shin injury in a collision with Josh Zambrano on a 50-50 ball about 10 yards outside the box. Moffitt’s right leg was immobilized and he was taken off in an ambulance. McCarty said Moffitt would not be able to play Thursday.
The only blemish against Cordero came in the 57th minute, when De’Qwan Sykes slipped behind the defense and hammered home a one-on-one to tie the score 1-1 for Sunnyside (7-10-6).
The Wildcats had several other scoring opportunities in the second half, including a point-blank shot by Zambrano that Cordero made a diving save to stop, but could not push across another goal that would have extended the career of Sosa, who announced he was stepping down as coach of the program after 17 seasons.
Sosa, 47, went 187-134-70 from 2000-2016 at Sunnyside, winning five league titles and the 2014 Division II championship, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
Only Roosevelt’s Joel Munoz, in his 23rd season, has been at the same school longer than Sosa among boys soccer coaches in the North Yosemite League, County/Metro Athletic Conference and Tri-River Athletic Conference. Eight of Sosa’s players went on to play at four-year universities.
I got to teach the game to some of the most respectful, fun, responsible and hard-working young men in this city.
Sunnyside boys soccer coach Michael Sosa, who is stepping down after 17 seasons with the Wildcats
“I got to teach the game to some of the most respectful, fun, responsible and hard-working young men in this city,” said Sosa, who was treated and cured of Stage 4 lymphoma four years ago. “It’s been nothing more than my pleasure. (Soccer) is something I’ve been doing since I was 6 years old. I spend 20 years as a coach and 20 playing. I don’t claim to be too bright, but I can teach math and this game to kids who want to learn. I’ve been fortunate to have kids who wanted to learn.”