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PREVIEW: Garces boys soccer looks to make history today in CIF SoCal finals

All season long, Garces Memorial senior soccer forward Moises Cisneros knew the three goals set in place. 

The Rams (25-2) wanted to win the Southwest Yosemite League title.


Garces wanted to win a second consecutive Central Section championship. 


The Rams accomplished that after beating Shafter 4-0 in the Division IV finals after winning the D-V title last season.

The Rams are now in place to accomplish the third and final goal of becoming the first Kern County team to win multiple state championships when No. 2 Garces hosts No. 5 Corona-Santiago at 4 p.m. today at Sam Tobias Field in the CIF State Southern California Division III championships.

The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for seniors, students and children.The gates will open at 3 p.m.

But one goal left out there is something Cisneros has been thinking about all year, and that’s proving last season’s state title wasn’t a fluke.

“Everyone thought last year was a fluke because it was in D-V,” Cisneros said. 

But the Rams have proven all season how tough and formidable this team is.

Even with Cal State Bakersfield-bound standout Ebube Ekpemogu sidelined with a quad injury most of the season, including the state playoffs, plenty of his teammates have stepped up.

Junior Alexander Halevy leads the team with 30 goals and 17 assists while Cisneros has a team-high 19 assists and 21 goals.

Sophomore Fletcher bank has 10 goals and junior Abraham Gonzalez has 10 assists.

Sophomore Palmer Bank, playing his first year as a goalkeeper, has 14 shutouts and hasn’t given up a goal in two games.

The Rams didn’t have a tie in the regular season and have won all four playoff games in regulation by combined scores of 12-2, including the 3-0 win over Norwalk in the SoCal semifinals on Thursday.

In total, the Rams have outscored opponents 100-18 this season and have won 16 consecutive games heading into the finals today.

Santiago is 17-4-5 this season and lost to Redland East Valley in the Southern Section Division III semifinals.

The Sharks then beat San Diego-Patrick Henry in the SoCal D-III opener 2-1 and upset No. 1 Newhall-Hart 4-0 in the semifinals to allow Garces to host the finals for a second consecutive season.

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