Road to the CIF Playoffs: Boys Soccer


As the boys soccer team entered the 2022-2023 season, the Lancers had the goal of ending a 15 + year playoff drought.  After a vast improvement in ‘21-’22, head coach Mike Oseguera was confident that a CIF Playoff berth was within reach.


“Now it's time to be competitive,” said Oseguera. “If you're in the games and you're competitive in those games, you always have a chance to win. That's what we want to do.”


With a ton of returning starters, the Lancers reached that goal.


Read the full season preview.


Regular Season

With that goal of a playoff berth in mind, the Lancers got off to a flying start.  Through 5 games, OLu was 4-0-1 with wins over Santa Ana and Huntington Beach in the HB All Turf Tournament.  They fell to Godinez in the final and finished the tournament in second place.


At the end of December, they went 2-1 in the SoCal College Showcase, pitting some of the best teams in California against each other.  OLu beat Bellarmine and Loyola in consecutive games and wrapped up the preseason slate at 7-2-1.  


As the calendar flipped to January, OLu continued to impress, opening up league play 2-2-1 through the first five games.  They beat Santa Margarita and Bosco in the first-round league.


On January 20, they beat Santa Margarita a second time to secure the team's first ten-win season in 15 seasons.  They followed that up with a massive 1-0 win over Mater Dei a week later, their first over the Monarchs since 2016.  


OLu wrapped up the season with a 12-6-2 overall record and a 5-4-1 Trinity League record.  They achieved the goal of making the CIF Playoffs for the first time since ‘06-’07 after being drawn as an at-large berth in the Division 4 bracket. 


CIF Playoffs Rd 1 vs. Woodbridge

In their first playoff game in over 15 years, the OLu boys soccer team took full advantage of the opportunity, making that long wait all worth it. Hector Arellanes scored a double overtime golden goal winner deep into the second session to beat Woodbridge 3-2.


Playing with high intensity early, the Lancers forced a penalty kick which Xavier Alcantar converted.


Midway through the first, Jayden Jimenez extended the lead with a spectacular individual effort. Jimenez dispossessed the defender, cut right into the box, and buried a chance into the lower left corner for a 2-0 lead.


Woodbridge didn’t relent, however, scoring a game-tying goal with a couple of minutes left in regulation and forcing overtime.


After a scoreless first overtime, the Lancers got the free kick that ended it in the second overtime. Jimu Lee knocked down a high-looping ball right to Arellanes, who smacked into the left corner for the win.


OLu moved onto the 2nd round, where they played Bishop Amat.



CIF Playoffs Rd 2 vs. Bishop Amat

A 63rd-minute goal scored by senior Jayden Jimenez was enough to help the boys soccer team beat Bishop Amat and send them to the CIF quarterfinals for the first time in over 15 years. 


Jimenez's goal came with the score locked at 0-0.  Hayden Snyder added a second goal in the 80th minute to finish the game off 2-0.  OLu had a couple of golden opportunities before the Jimenez goal but was denied by the Amat goalkeeper.  


OLu drew Great Oak in the quarterfinals. 



CIF Quarterfinals vs. Great Oak

The Orange Lutheran boys soccer team is headed to the CIF semifinals after beating Great Oak 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon. 


OLu did not waste any time in taking care of business. Jayden Jimenez scored his 3rd goal of the postseason in the 5th minute. Xavier Alcantar doubled the lead 7 minutes later, and Hector Arellanes had a beauty of a free kick to make it 3-0 going to the half. 


Jimu Lee scored in the 49th minute, and Alcantar notched his 2nd and 3rd of the game playoffs later in the half for the 5-0 win. 


OLu will play on Saturday, February 18, against Oxnard at home at 4 pm.

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CIF Semifinals vs Oxnard

Ayden Santana saved the 4th Oxnard penalty kick to set off a frenzy of a celebration as Orange Lutheran beat the Yellowjackets 2-1 on PKs to advance to the program's first championship appearance in 24 years.


OLu got the scoring started in the 38th minute when Jordi Pineda scored to put the Lancers in front.  It stayed that way until the 58th minute when Oxnard leveled the game at 1.


After two scoreless golden goal overtimes that saw a flurry of chances for both sides, the game went to penalty kicks. 


After the Lancers buried both of their first two opportunities, Santana made the first of his saves by diving to his left.  OLu made their next two to go up 4-2, and the kick to keep Oxnard alive was then saved by Santana to secure the victory.


OLu will play Littlerock (Lancaster) in the CIF Finals on Thursday, February 23 at 4 pm. 

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CIF Finals vs Littlerock

For the first time in 24 years, the boys soccer team is CIF Champions after defeating Littlerock 3-0 on Thursday afternoon. 

In a game filled with snow, wind, and sub-40 temperatures, the Lancers felt right at home despite the conditions.

Senior Jordi Pineda put the Lancers on the board in only the 4th minute when his brilliantly struck free kick from 25 yards out hit the top right corner, stunning the Lobos keeper. 

He wasn’t done, skimming a header by the keeper only 9 minutes later for a 2-0 lead.

AJ Campbell made it 3-0, hitting home a rebound in the 34th minute.

The duo of Ayden Santana and Dillion Danks were dynamite in the net, keeping the clean sheet.

The victory is the Lancers first CIF Title since 1999, the only other boys soccer team to win in school history.

They have qualified for the state regional tournament and will open that up on Tuesday, February 28.

Boys Soccer CIF Championship

Related: Orange Lutheran boys soccer overwhelms Littlerock to win CIF-SS Division 4 championship


CIF State Regional Round 1 vs La Jolla Country Day

AJ Campbell scored a hat trick to pace the Lancers as they defeated La Jolla Country Day on Tuesday 3-0 in the 1st round of the CIF State Regional playoffs.


Campbell struck in the 23rd, 29th, and 44th minutes.  The combination of Ayden Santana and Dillan Danks kept the clean sheet in the win.  OLu has won 9 of their past 11 games, including the CIF-SS Division 4 title over Littlerock last Thursday.  They are 18-6-2 on the season.


They will host Palm Desert on Thursday in the semifinals. 



CIF State Regional Semifinal vs Palm Desert

OLu’s historic season continues as the Lancers defeated Palm Desert 2-1 in overtime on Thursday in a thrilling CIF State Regional semifinal game at Montell Field.

The game remained 0-0 until midway through the second half when Palm Desert got on the board first with a converted penalty kick.

But the Lancers weren’t finished. Senior Jayden Jimenez scored on a stellar corner kick in the 66th minute to make it 1-1.

Knotted at 1 at the end of regulation, the game headed to overtime. Within the first minute, it was Jimenez again with the golden goal overtime winner.

The Lancers will make their first appearance in the CIF State Regional Final in school history when they host Littlerock for the championship on Saturday, March 4 at 5 pm at Orange Coast College. OLu is 19-6-2 on the season, having won nine of their last 10 games.


CIF State Regional Final vs Littlerock

The Lancers are your 2023 CIF State Regional Champions! Click here for the full recap.


Follow the boys soccer playoff run at or on Instagram.

Topics from this blog: Athletics