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Park View strikes twice late to claim conference crown

The Park View Patriots are Conference 21-B boys’ soccer tournament champions.—Times-Mirror/Andrew Gillis
Park View High School soccer chants could be heard across Leesburg.

“Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!”

The chants carried from the field to the bus, heard as the team headed back to Sterling.

The Patriots had good reason to be excited, as they defeated host Heritage 3-1 on Tuesday night in boys’ soccer, earning the Conference 21-B tournament title with the win.

“The second time winning this, it’s all because of the team,” junior Obdulio Funez said. “We all work hard together, we never let anyone down, we always help each other. That’s been the key for us this season, staying together.”

Funez struck with five minutes to play, turning around in the box and firing a left-footed shot that just snuck inside the post, and just out-of-reach of the Pride goalkeeper.

Funez’s goal sent the Park View faithful into a state of crazed excitement, as Funez was mobbed by his teammates near the sideline.

“Just the confidence boosted up for me, I just went in, saw the shot, and just...it went in, thank god,” he said.

His goal broke a 1-1 tie, that stood for the majority of the second half.

“I wanted to run everywhere and just celebrate,” Funez said. “It was just great.”

Funez’s goal came as a result of sticking to the team’s game plan, not trying to change up what they did well.

“After they tied it up, we still kept playing the same game, we didn’t get away from just kicking, but knocking the ball around,” Park View coach Arturo Jimenez said.

Park View would score the ultimate dagger just a minute later, when German Gonzalez put the Patriots up 3-1, and the game out of reach.

An intense and physical game throughout, both sides were waiting for a moment to explode, a moment to cheer.

The Patriots got there first.

“Playing Heritage is always a pleasure, we knew it was going to be a hard game for us to play,” Jimenez said. “It feels real good to win the conference, because they beat us twice.”

Park View goalkeeper Erick Aviles stood tall as the second half wore on, dealing with rush after rush of Heritage attackers, led by Giovanni Vazquez.

Even with the continued attack, the Patriots held strong on the back end, eventually leading to the goals by Gonzalez and Funez.

“I felt like Park View was really the better team, especially in the first half,” Heritage coach Betsy Munson said. “We weren’t playing like we normally play. Defensively, we just had some miscues that you can’t have at this level.”

As Conference 21-B regular-season champs, Heritage joins Park View in advancing to the 4A West Region tournament.

“I knew it was going to be difficult,” Munson said of playing Park View. “Any time you’re matched up with a good team, it’s tough to beat a team three times.”

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