CUPERTINO - Fresno City College found its way to the top of the mountain for the second time in three years on Sunday afternoon, scoring a goal in each half as the Rams beat previously unbeaten Mt. San Antonio, 2-0, to win the 2019 CCCAA Men's Soccer State Championship at De Anza College.
Fresno entered the weekend with one of the state's top defenses, not having allowed a goal since Nov. 5 - a span of 657 minutes - and the Rams kept that form up at De Anza, shutting out Cerritos (1-0) and Mt. San Antonio to finish its season 18-1-5. The Mounties ended 21-1-3.
The two state powers battled without a goal for nearly the entire first half but the Rams changed things just seconds before halftime when Alexis Rodriguez scored his second goal of the season by netting a free kick from 25 yards out. Neither team could find the back of the net through the first 30 minutes of the second half before Fresno's Michael Vega scored unassisted from 25 yards out, just outside of the penalty area shooting diagonally across the goal for his only goal of the day and his second goal of the championship round in Cupertino.
Mt. San Antonio outshot Fresno, 14-9 overall and 6-3 in shots on goal but Rams keeper Evan Ghimenti was solid, saving all half-dozen attempts that came his way.
Fresno City didn't win its first men's soccer state championship until 2017 but has now captured two of the past three. Mt. San Antonio was trying for its sixth championship. The Rams ended the year with a state-best 21 shutouts - six more than the next closest team - and allowed just seven goals all year.