By Aaron Valdez
Monrovia boys’ managed to overtake Temple City for second place in the Rio Hondo League as David Johnson and the Wildcats came back to defeat the Rams 2-1 on Tuesday.
Despite having a respectable record under their belts, the Wildcats have their work cut out for them in this final week of the regular season. Going into Tuesday’s match, Monrovia was sitting in third place while trailing second-place Temple City and first-place La Cañada in the Rio Hondo league table.
It was a must-win game for the Wildcats if they wanted to not only maintain a slim chance of winning at least a share of the league title, but to also improve their chances of making CIF.
The first half saw a power struggle with Monrovia and Temple City each trying to impose their physicality on the other. It was a scrappy and sloppy affair as both sides struggled to catch a rhythm.
It wasn’t until a few minutes before the half when the Wildcats committed a costly turnover in the back, which the Rams took full advantage of by taking a 1-0 lead. Things looked grim for Monrovia at that point, but it would all change in the second half.
The Wildcats pulled themselves together after the break and were able to overcome a gritty Temple City defense thanks to two goals from David Johnson. The Rams did a good job of keeping the senior forward at bay for most of the way, but Johnson caught fire just in time to lead Monrovia to victory.
With the huge win, Monrovia now moves to second place with a 5-2-2 record, which is still behind La Cañada (6-1-2).
Thursday will be a decisive day as the Wildcats will need to defeat San Marino (1-8) by at least three goals while La Cañada will need to lose to Blair (1-8) by at least three goals for Monrovia to win at least a share of the league title.