Piedmont High School’s boys soccer team advanced to the North Coast Section Division 4 championship game with a 1-0 win at Healdsburg on Feb. 22.
The Highlanders (11-4-6) will meet University-San Francisco on Feb. 25 at 3:30 p.m. at the Beach Chalet fields in San Francisco. It is the second consecutive year these two teams will met for the championship. Piedmont took the title 1-0 last year.
Max Schleuning scored the goal off a corner kick by Enzo Bernales in the 37th minute against Healdsburg. Schleuning kicked the ball into the bottom corner back post.
Highlander coach Todd Sullivan said the team began generating chances at the 20-minute mark in the first half and could have scored multiple times.
“There were a couple of good chances earlier on,” Sullivan said. “Aiden (Woolwine) hit the post. And Sam (Shelby) caused a lot of problems when we shifted him to the right hand side.”
Sullivan added, “It was a very good game. The opposition were good. They technically were very good.”
The rematch with University should be interesting. Last year Andre Stankiewicz scored a goal in the 67th minute to win the title, Piedmont’s first NCS crown in school history.
“Slightly different venue but everything else is the same,” Sullivan said. “They have a number of key players back this year.”
Those include senior Jose Argueta, who has nine goals and 10 assists on the season. But there are newcomers as well – freshman Rowan Sellers has seven goals.
“Honestly, I would say that they’re man-for-man a stronger group,” Sullivan said. “We’ve just become such a good unit. I don’t think anybody is going to find it easy to play against us because we play together, stay tight as a unity and make it hard to beat.”
Last year, the teams played at Witter Field. This time, it will be at the Beach Chalet, with the girls Division 4 championship between the same two schools on an adjacent field. The games will overlap, with the boys starting at 3:30 and the girls at 4:30.
University is the second seed, while Piedmont is No. 8.
“I’m super-proud of them as a group,” Sullivan said. “I think we proved a lot of doubters wrong.”
Both teams will advance to the California Interscholastic Federation Northern Regional playoffs, beginning Feb. 28. There is no state championship in soccer.