There were no hanging heads as the Mission High soccer team ended its season with a loss Friday afternoon. There were no tears, nor any outbursts of frustration.
There was only coach Scott Kennedy corralling his players, telling them to keep their heads held high, and pointing their attention to the jubilant Fremont High team before delivering a final charge.
Watch them celebrate, he said. Watch them dance. Watch them claim the medals you fought for. Watch and see what it looks like to win a Transbay championship. Now learn from it, and move on.
After Fremont beat Mission 3-0 to sweep the best-of-three Transbay series, Kennedy thought his underclassmen would be well-served by observing their opponents’ celebration.
“It’s not fun,” Kennedy said after the game. “But you have to learn how to win, and you have to learn how to lose. That was a way to teach that and to show class.”
Mission was manhandled by Fremont, which took an early lead and never relented. The Tigers showed with machine-like offensive efficiency and stifled any hopes of a Mission attack.
Jose Luis Ruiz Ortiz scored two goals for the Tigers. He opened the game by knocking a ball in from inside the box off an assist from Edvin Perez, and he scored the game’s final goal off a rebound early in the second half. In between, Fremont’s Richard Rios scored on a header from a corner kick by Mario Jimenez. Meanwhile, Mission’s top goal-scorers, Samuel Funez-Hernandez and Jose Gallardo-Macias, were never able to break away for good scoring opportunities.
“Our defense was terrific,” Fremont assistant coach Mosito Ramaili said. “They came up big for us.”
With the win, Fremont enjoyed a sweet reversal of fortune. The Tigers lost to Mission in this series in 2005 and 2006.
“Some of our guys were around for that,” Ramaili said. “It was in their minds.”
For Mission, the loss ended a season in which the Bears finished 23-8-2 record and won their fourth consecutive San Francisco section title. But for the second straight year, Mission leaves the Transbay championship series empty-handed.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” Kennedy said.
When asked to identify a key to the loss, Kennedy paused before pointing at his heart.
“It’s right here,” he said. “Everyone’s tired, but you have to show heart. And they showed more of it today.”