Every team sets a goal of winning a league or division title. The chances of that happening vary from year to year, but the aim remains the same.
Burlingame boys’ soccer head coach Anthony Dimech set the goal of defending the Panthers’ 2018 Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division title, but with only two returning starters from last season’s squad, it would be a much more difficult feat to repeat in 2019.
“Some would say we had a JV squad,” Dimech said.
But with a 2-1 win over host South City Monday afternoon, the Panthers claimed their second straight Bay Division championship.
“We knew it would be tough. We have a whole new group of guys,” Dimech said. “They had to grow into themselves. They performed well.”
Ethan Kaufman and Andrew Morales each found the back of the net for the Panthers.
With one game left in the regular season, Burlingame (9-1-3, 30 points) holds an insurmountable lead over second-place Menlo-Atherton (8-3-2, 26). The Bears beat Woodside 2-0 Monday.
The Panthers beat M-A 1-0 last Friday as Burlingame completed its second straight unbeaten season at home as they had to run quite the gauntlet to end the season.
“We had five out of our last six on the road and our only home game was against M-A,” Dimech said. “It was a tough stretch.”
With Monday’s win, the Panthers gave themselves a chance to take a deep breath before the start of CCS play this weekend. Dimech said it was important to wrap up the title on Monday and not wait until Wednesday’s finale against Half Moon Bay.
“CCS is on Saturday. Now I don’t have to go out and battle against HMB,” Dimech said. “The Bay is a tough league. Just look at Half Moon Bay. They didn’t win a game in the first round. Now, they’ve won three or four in the second round.
“It’s been a tough schedule. Four games in eight days (including Saturday’s CCS opener). That’s a lot of games.”