The long and historic boys soccer season at Jewish Community High School of the Bay is finally over after an unprecedented run to the divisional championship game.
The Wolves lost 2-1 yesterday in wet conditions at Anderson Valley Jr.-Sr. High School in Boonville after the game — the title contest game in division 3 of the California Interscholastic Federation’s North Coast Section — was delayed two weeks because of smoke from the Butte County wildfires. Boonville is near Ukiah in Mendocino County.
Anderson Valley has now won six of the past nine NCS division 3 soccer championships.
“This season was so special because of how the team continually improved and how it grew together as the season advanced,” said coach Aaron Pollock. “That improvement and growth led to such an exciting run in the NCS playoffs where, despite the disappointing result in the final game, we outscored our opponents 13-3.”
After a scoreless first half, junior forward Ethan Finestone headed in a ball off a pass from Sam Lieberman to give the Wolves the lead in the 54th minute. Finestone had scored three goals in each of JCHS’ playoff wins leading up to the title contest.
But the Panthers evened the score on a penalty kick 12 minutes later, and got the decisive goal on another penalty kick in the 76th minute. The JCHS defense allowed only two shots on goal the entire game.
Pollock credited the leadership of the team’s seniors — Idan Sharabi, Noah Feldman, Martin Selyutin and Maxwell Kimel — for this season’s success. Those four were on the JCHS team that won the school’s first Private School Athletic League title in soccer in 2016.
“This is only our second season competing in the North Coast Section. We really had no idea how well we could stack up against the competition,” Pollock said.
“These seniors will leave JCHS having won the PSAL Championship two years ago and a NCS runner-up banner. Their legacy is secured.”