SALINAS VALLEY — Soccer teams from South Monterey County high schools are back on the pitch after time off to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.
With the non-league schedule winding down, the boys and girls teams are ready for Pacific Coast Athletic League divisional play.
Greenfield began 2024 with a 4-3 win in Salinas on Jan. 3 at Alisal in the Gabilan Division opener. Hector Garcia scored two goals to lead the Bruins in scoring, and Jesus Arroyo and Anthony Zavala added solo goals.
Two nights later, Greenfield lost 2-1 against the Everett Alvarez Eagles.
“Against Alisal, we were able to win because we were able to finish play,” said Bruins head coach Manny Barron. “Against Alvarez, we lost because we were not able to finish plays. Also one of our best players was sent off with two double yellows, and that really turned the tide. We generated lots of opportunities, but when we can’t finish we get impatient.”
King City and Soledad opened play in the Mission Division with a 1-1 tie on Jan. 2. Tristan Salvador scored the Soledad goal off an assist from Ivan Salcido.
King City continued the week with a 2-1 victory over the Palma Chieftains in Salinas. Deon Rodriguez and Andres Bedolla scored the Mustang goals. King City is now 3-5-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Mission Division.
Soledad earned its first division win, shutting out the Monterey Toreadores. Joshua Guzman scored the Aztec goal to help his team improve to 3-0-2 overall an 1-0-1 in divisional games.
In PCAL games this week: Gonzales (4-2-0) returns to action with Cypress Division contest at Carmel tonight and will host Robert Louis Stevenson on Friday; Greenfield hosted Hollister yesterday and plays in Salinas against the North Salinas Vikings tomorrow; King City hosts the Rancho San Juan Trailblazers tonight and has a game with the Salinas High Cowboys in Salinas on Friday; and Soledad has a game at Palma tonight and will host Pajaro Valley on Friday.
The Soledad girls played their first game without Monterey County record holder Sophia Martel, who graduated early. The Lady Aztecs responded with a 5-0 shutout win against Pacific Collegiate.
Scoring single goals for Soledad were: Precious Aguilera, Jennifer Troncoso, Myrin Amilpa, Josselyn Coria and Giselle Zepeda. Belen Diaz and Alyssa Rico played well defensively, as did Zepeda on left wing.
The Lady Aztecs are 1-0 in the Mission Division and 7-1-1 overall.
Soledad head coach Victor Garcia and his team missed Martel on the playing field.
“We sure missed her on the field and it was hard not seeing her (Martel) play after three years,” Garcia said. “Luckily we didn’t have any girls travel out of town for the holidays, so that was great as they all knew that we were not getting Sophia back anymore and had to work harder, and they sure did since day one. Even though it will be hard to replace her, we have to continue and move on with the season. We all have one objective and that is to compete and be league champs and make it to CCS (Central Coast Section) once again.”
Gonzales is 6-1-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the Santa Lucia Division, as they defeated Ceiba College Prep 9-0 last Friday at Rabobank in Salinas. Valerie Oliva led Gonzales in scoring with three goals, and Allessandra Tejeda-Ochoa and Janelle Garcia scored two goals apiece in the Spartans’ win. Scoring solo goals were Jennifer Fajardo and Katherine Toledo.
“I’m feeling motivated to give this town and school something great to talk about,” said Gonzales head coach Jose Tejeda. “We’ve been working hard all winter and pre-season, and I believe we can do something great this season.”
The Greenfield Lady Bruins fell to 0-1 in the Santa Lucia Division and 2-4-1 overall, as they began the year with a 3-1 setback at Robert Louis Stevenson.
King City Mustang girls are 2-6 overall in the Cypress Division.
Scheduled soccer games for this week are: Soledad is at Monte Vista Christian today and in Watsonville on Friday against Pajaro Valley; King City plays today in Castroville with North Monterey County and will host York on Friday; Gonzales played at Anzar yesterday and travels to Salinas to play RLS at Rabobank; and Greenfield hosted Marina on Monday and plays Trinity Christian tomorrow afternoon.