Arlington boys soccer team tops Citrus Hill to win SilverLakes Winter Classic for second year in a row

EASTVALE – Danny Hernandez continues to give Arlington boys soccer something to defend.

Hernandez scored in the second minute of the match, and Arlington held on to beat Citrus Hill 1-0 Wednesday afternoon in the SilverLakes Winter Classic final at Roosevelt High School.

“Being a senior, I’m putting it all out there for the boys and it’s always cool to be racking up some silverware,” said Hernandez, who has committed to California Baptist.

Goalkeeper Diego Martinez made two saves and dealt with late pressure to secure the win for Arlington (12-0-0 overall), ranked 15th in the recent CIF-Southern Section Division 1/2 coaches poll.

“We knew it was going to be tight, and they’re good. (Citrus Hill) is really good,” Arlington coach Kevin Watson said.

A frenetic first five minutes had scoring chances going both ways, with Citrus Hill’s Jose De La Torre firing a low roller into Martinez to cover in the first minute.

“We started off really good but then one error really got us down and props to them because they took advantage,” Citrus Hill coach Aram Najar said.

Following De La Torre’s shot on goal, Arlington went the other way on the counter attack and Jacob “Chino” Arellano slipped a pass through to Hernandez to chip it over Citrus Hill freshman goalkeeper Elvin Vargas.

“I had a lot of space so I just waited for the keeper to come out and I chipped it over his shoulder, and fortunately it worked out,” Hernandez said.

Arlington, which defeated Santiago 2-0 on Tuesday night to reach the final, has claimed the SilverLakes Winter Classic title in each of the tournament’s first two years.

“Defensively, we’re at a place that if you’re going to beat us then it’s going to be very, very difficult,” Watson said.

Arlington has allowed only three goals this season.

Vargas stood on his head early in the second half to keep Citrus Hill (11-3) within striking distance, making two quick saves in succession – including one point-blank stop against Hernandez – in his first varsity start in place of injured starter Henry Baltazar (ankle).

“(Vargas) just came up big. I’m proud of him,” Najar said. “We called him up and he performed excellently with some great saves and great confidence.”

Arlington controlled the bulk of possession in the second half, coming away with six corner kicks and eight total shots, but the Lions were unable to double their margin.

Citrus Hill registered only two shots on goal and now has lost twice to Arlington this season. The Hawks previously lost 4-1 to the Lions in the Citrus Hill tournament final on Dec. 5.