Oakwood’s Matthew Marcotullio connects with a shot during the Hawks’ 3-1 win over PCS in which Marcotullio scored an equalizing goal.

A year ago, Oakwood went into the final game of the season with a chance to clinch a Coastal Division championship.
But a loss to Anzar in that last day cost the Hawks a chance to compete for a CCS berth.
That disappointment was not lost on Oakwood a year later when the Hawks were taking on league rivals Pacific Collegiate, who captured that league title a year ago.
Oakwood needed a win to advance, or else PCS was going to claim the title and put the Hawks as the outsiders looking in for a second straight year.
“We came out and we knew a tie wasn’t going to advance us, so we kept playing our hearts out,” said coach Jon Braga. “We have seven or eight seniors who this is their last chance. They gave everything they could and they left nothing out there.”
So with Oakwood leading 2-1 over PCS as the clock wound down past the 80th minute mark and the Pumas selling out to find an equalizer, it was no surprise that the crowd, coaching staff and players all were cheering when Kyle Moosman went the other way in a full sprint.
PCS had won a corner kick and brought its keeper forward to add an 11th man in the box to try to score the equalizer.
But as the ball bounced around, it was Oakwood who got a foot on it and cleared it down the field.
Moosman gave chase, pulling up only when he got inside the 18-yard box and tapped in an empty net goal and was promptly mobbed by his teammate.
“I was running down the sideline trying to do everything I could to try to get him to run faster to get that goal,” Braga said. “It was a beautiful, beautiful thing,”
Oakwood with the 3-1 victory will not host Carmel 4:15 p.m. Friday in a winner-take-all playoff to determine who will go to the CCS playoffs.
The Mission Trail Athletic League and the Coastal Athletic League host an end of the season contest between the Coastal champion and the MTAL third place team for the final automatic berth to the postseason.
And very nearly, that honor that honor could have gone to PCS.
After both teams were scoreless through the first half, PCS got on the board in the 55th minute on a crossing shot that was out of the reach of Oakwood’s keeper.
With the way the previous 53 minutes had gone, it might have been enough.
To that point, Oakwood had three shots on goal, but was in a tight, physical battle with the Pumas and weren’t able to get too many quality chances.
But much like when PCS just needed a chance to break through, Oakwood finally found a space.
Or rather Matthew Marcotullio made his space.
He split two defenders on his way to the goal to equalize the game.
From there, the route was on.
Oakwood continued to dominate the contest and eventually Karmvir Thind forced his way through past two defenders to put Oakwood up 2-1 in the 71st minute.
Braga said he knew coming into the game that PCS was a physical squad and it was going to require his boys to dig deep to pull out a win.
“The boys just raised it up to another level to be able to make it happen today,” Braga said.

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