VENTURA — Deadlocked in a scoreless skirmish, St. Francis High's soccer team was continually saved by Paul Dean, while fourth-seeded Ventura simply couldn't save itself.
Bolstered by a dazzling display in net by Dean, benefited by an own goal that turned the game and further buoyed by the healthy collarbone and accurate right foot of Billy McCreary, the Golden Knights prevailed on Wednesday afternoon, defeating the host Cougars, 2-0, in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division I boys' soccer playoffs.
"It was a mistake, but it was a mistake that I think we caused," said St. Francis Coach Glen Appels of the own goal that Ventura put on the board in the 68th minute that broke a scoreless tie and set up a McCreary score just six minutes later that effectively sealed the victory. "That second one was just as huge. It was a great finish by Billy."