November 04, 2016, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat, Daily Journal
No. 10 Half Moon Bay 8, No. 7 Aptos 7
The Cougars made not only school history, but most likely Peninsula Athletic League history by beating the Mariners in the second round of the CCS Division II tournament in Santa Cruz Thursday night.
Not only does Half Moon Bay advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, HMB coach Justin Ferdinand said he was told by Menlo School coach Jack Bowen that the Cougars become just the first team in PAL history — other than Menlo and Menlo-Atherton — to advance to the CCS quarterfinals.
The win also avenges a pair of 2015 losses to Aptos, including a defeat in the second round last year.
Aptos had two cracks at tying the score in the final minutes, but each time the HMB defense was up to the task. The Mariners misfired on their first chance and, after getting the ball back following a Cougars’ miss, were shut down by the HMB defense, with Tomas Castro-Santos coming up with a steal with about a second left on the shot clock and only a handful of ticks left in the game.
Tanner Islander paced the HMB offense with five goals, while Justin Rodrigues, Nate Feix and Ian Goldbach each scored once. Goaltender Mason Martuscelli finished with 14 saves.
“Our main focus was … about leaving a legacy (at HMB) no can take away from [the team],” Ferdinand said.
Now, the Cougars face the daunting task of facing second-seeded Menlo School (25-2) in the quarterfinals Saturday at time and place to be determined.
“We trained with Menlo all summer. We’re pretty close,” Ferdinand said. “If we’re going to go out, it’s pretty poetic that it ends with Menlo.”