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SALINAS VALLEY — With Christmas break upon us, the South Monterey County high school soccer teams completed the preseason schedule last week.

Every school except for the King City boys’ team will now be off until the first days of 2024.

BOYS’ SOCCER

The Greenfield High boys’ team completed the preseason with a 3-3-1 record, including a 1-0 loss to the Rancho San Juan Trailblazers last Wednesday and a 1-1 tie in Castroville on Friday against the North Monterey County Condors. Hector Garcia scored the tying goal for the Bruins with an assist by Larry Picazo.

“We have to work on our finishing, but other than that I’m excited going in league,” said Greenfield head coach Manny Barron. “We will be playing Alisal at their home on Wednesday, Jan. 3.”

Greenfield plays with Alisal in the Gabilan Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic League.

Gonzales High had a setback in the final game of the preseason, falling 3-1 to the visiting Palma Chieftains on Friday at Dick Force Stadium. Emmanuel Mauro gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead at the end of halftime.

“We were up at halftime, then our defense let us down,” said Gonzales head coach Miguel Vidauri. “What hurt us was that I had to pull players of the JV team to fill out the squad, as many of our players took off to Mexico right after school.”

Gonzales (4-2-0) will begin play in the Cypress Division on Jan. 2 with Pacific Collegiate.

The Soledad boys’ soccer team finished the preseason at 4-0-2 after a 1-1 tie at Aptos, a 4-0 victory against the Marina Mariners and a 3-1 win against the Soquel Knights.

Joshua Guzman scored the single goals at Aptos, while Jesus Santano, Ivan Salcido, Brandon Munoz and David Chavez all had goals in the shutout of the Mariners.

At Soquel, Brandon Arroyo, Jason Rico and Santano were credited with goals. Brian Alvarez, Jesse Argueta and Joshua Guzman had assists against the Knights.

The Aztec boys begin the Mission Division on the road on Jan. 2 at King City and continue divisional play on Jan. 4 at home against the Monterey High Toreadores.

While currently holding a 1-5-0 record, King City head coach Jaime Cortes is optimistic about the Mustangs’ chances going into 2024 in the Mission Division.

“We may have just won our first game of the season, but we feel we were in every game and have the ability to have won those games,” Cortes said. “Our game tomorrow at home with Seaside will be a good game and will help to make sure we are ready for league.”

The Mustangs beat Templeton 2-0 last Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium, with goals by Gerardo Quintana outside the box and a score on a corner kick by Esteban Acosta.

King City opens division at home against Soledad on Tuesday, Jan. 2, and plays in Salinas with Palma on Thursday, Jan. 4.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Last Tuesday in their only game of the week, the Soledad Lady Aztecs sent Sophia Martel out with a win, defeating Morro Bay at home, 5-0. Soledad (6-1-1) received two goals by Giselle Zepeda, and solo goals from Martel, Alexa Ruacho and Myrin Amilpa.

Soledad plays in Santa Cruz on Thursday, Jan. 4, against Pacific Collegiate.

King City High finished .500 for the week, losing a 4-1 game to Templeton, followed with a 3-1 win against the North Salinas Vikings.

Janessa Correa scored the Lady Mustang goal in the Templeton game. Against the Vikings, Mariana Alcarez scored two goals and freshman Isabella Hernandez-Swift scored a goal off an assist by Xienna Novoa, who was making her varsity debut.

“We were 2-6 in preseason and on paper it isn’t great, but we’ve made a lot of progress since November,” said King City head coach Refugio Garcia. “We’ve also been dealing with four starters being injured. We expect them all to be back for our regular season and help us start strong when we visit North Monterey County on Jan. 10 for our season opener.”

The Greenfield girls finished 2-3-1 in preseason, including a 2-1 loss to the North Monterey County Condors last Wednesday. Yazmin Avalos scored the Greenfield goal.

The Lady Bruins begin divisional play Jan. 3 in San Juan Bautista against the Anzar Hawks.

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