DeVante Raynor scored two goals -- the first less than three minutes into the match -- as the visiting California High boys soccer team beat No. 2 seed Monte Vista 3-1 in a North Coast Section Division I quarterfinal.
"Going into NCS, we were pretty confident," said Grizzlies coach Chris Faidley, whose team had advanced with a 4-1 opening-round win over College Park on Feb. 13. "We were preparing all season, and we came out -- as we did against College Park -- and played very, very well."
At 2:37 into the contest, Raynor latched onto a nice through ball from Rob Rowenhorst, made a couple of nice moves, and freed himself for a shot that found the net.
No. 7 California (18-6-2) wasn't about to relax. At 7:13, Calvin Smith made it 2-0 off a short lead pass from Nathan Grixti.
Any hope Monte Vista (17-4-4) had for a comeback were dashed when Raynor found a wide-open net off a long ball from Grixti 7:45 into the second half.
California also played a role in Monte Vista's only goal, scored at 61:42 by Michael Ha off a Grizzlies defensive mix-up.
During the regular season, the teams met twice, resulting in a 1-1 draw and a 3-0 Monte Vista win. For the rubber match, the Grizzlies appeared more alert throughout the contest.
"We watched a lot of game film and (my players) know their players from club soccer," Faidley said. "But there's no secret to (preparing a team for a game) -- and in a game like this everybody's anxious and excited -- but for some reason, we came out and played well."
As one would expect of a match pitting East Bay Athletic League rivals, the action had a physical edge. And despite some pushes and shoves, both teams finished with 11 players.
"I compare it to a football game or boxing match," Faidley said. "Every game against Monte Vista is a very physical, intense battle."