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Placer soccer falls short

Natomas edges Placer 1-0 in Division III title game
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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ELK GROVE — The Placer High soccer team wanted two pennants to commemorate its historic 2011 season. The Hillmen will have to settle for one after a 1-0 loss to Natomas Saturday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship game. Placer won its first Pioneer Valley League title earlier this season. The Nighthawks denied them a section banner in a hotly contested battle at Cosumnes Oaks High School. Natomas senior Adrian Revelez scored the lone goal of the game in the 29th minute, sliding at the far post to knock in a cross from Juan Mendoza. Placer created several dangerous chances. Junior Brennan Entz had a first-half shot deflect off the post. Peter Kean’s beautiful volley from 22 yards out was swatted away by Natomas goalkeeper Jorge Flores. But the Hillmen could not break through in their first appearance in a section final. “It was a tight game,” Placer coach Mark Miller said. “The disappointing part is, we’ve played better and this was the wrong atmosphere to have a flat performance. But I told them I’m proud of them. We’ve done more than any team in Placer history and that’s something they should be proud of.” Natomas’ speedy midfielders Luis Romo and Erik Vega helped the Nighthawks de-fuse the Placer attack. Gama Gomez, Mauricio Vera, Shawn Green and Benjamin De La Barra played well on the offensive end. Adam Norcott, Eddie Santamaria, Nikolai Figueroa and Kean were strong on defense. Placer finished the season 21-1-4. The Hillmen gave up just 13 goals all season and they hadn’t surrendered a single goal since Sept. 29 before Saturday’s game. Miller said he will cherish the season for the history the team made, and the characters on the roster. “They got the first PVL title and it’s by far our best season as a program,” Miller said. “They’ve got a great work ethic and they’re great guys to be around.”