Thursday, February 27, 2003 - SAN JOSE -- A hat
trick that didn't get started until the 76th minute of play
... A comeback from a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 win in double
overtime in the Central Coast Section semifinals ...
Burlingame coach Daniel Rosaia called it the greatest
comeback ever for a team of his. Considering the
circumstances, who could argue?
Burlingame trailed Valley Christian 3-1 with four minutes
left in the Central Coast Section boys Division II semifinal
match at PAL Stadium. The end of the season beckoned, but
David Keuftidjian didn't want to let go.
His hat trick, which began with four minutes left in
regulation, brought the Panthers a win-for-the-ages 4-3
victory and catapulted them into the CCS championship match
against Santa Cruz, a 3-0 winner over Los Altos in
Wednesday's other semifinal, on Friday in a 7 p.m. start at
PAL Stadium for the CCS Division II championship.
Keuftidjian scored on a free kick off a setup from Gavin
Wenyan in the 76th minute to cut the deficit to 3-2 and give
the Panthers hope. Full-fledged euphoria set in a minute
later when Mariano Arrua made a lightning run down the left
sideline, hit Keuftidjian with a beautiful pass and
Keuftidjian did the rest, sending the ball high into the net
for the tying score.
The match went into overtime with momentum on
"Once it's 3-3 it's our game," Keuftidjian said.
The first 10-minute overtime period concluded scoreless.
But in the second minute of the second 10-minute overtime
period, Wenyan's corner kick was headed off the right side
of the cross bar by Jorge Rodriguez. That near-miss caromed
to the left, right in front of the goal, and here came
Keuftidjian once more, in the right spot at the right time,
with an unstoppable finish for the winning score.
A hat trick in 16 minutes to bring his team from two
goals down to one goal up. In the biggest game of the year.
"David's magic," Rosaia said. "I hope a good college
picks him up because he's got a heart of gold."
Valley Christian had a 1-0 lead at halftime and extended
it to 2-0 early in the second half. Burlingame finally got
on the scoreboard in the 63rd minute when Rodriguez scored
off a rebound of a shot by Arrua.
CCS Division II
Valley Christian (13-7-3)1 2 0 0 -- 3
Burlingame (17-2-4)0 3 0 1 -- 4
VC -- Donny Dequine 2, Cole Bales.
B -- Jorge Rodriguez, David Keuftidjian 3 (Gavin Wenyan,