Looking to finish strong

Varsity girls look to make late season push to solidify playoff spot.

Andrea+Cornelio+pushes+the+ball+up+the+sideline+against+Monterey+High+School+in+a+6-0+victory++in+December.

Andrea Cornelio pushes the ball up the sideline against Monterey High School in a 6-0 victory in December.

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The girls’ varsity soccer team ended last season 10-6-1 overall, and 4-4-1 in the league. They made the playoffs, but lost in the first round against Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton. This year they lost two seniors to graduation, but brought back fifteen  players. “We have a good core group of players, but also added six freshmen to the varsity roster,” said Coach Carissa Purnell.

Returning players are seniors – Cynthia Patino, Christy Cramer, Stephanie Rivera, Esmeralda Alvarez, and Yesenia Tijerina; juniors Xudelia Marquez, Bianca Cruz, Giselle Gutierez, Maria “MJ” Espinoza, Nayzeth Perez, and Giselle Ambrosio; sophomores Andrea Cornelio, Nichole Maravillo, Nathalie Maravillo, Michelle Perez; and freshmen Gissell Zamora, Monce Hernadez, Jazmin Gonzalez, Miriam Hernandez, Anahi Valencia, and Yuritza Ortega.

Purnell, in her third year, feels the team is on track to make playoffs and finish near the top of, or even win, league. “The team continues to grow not only talent wise, but as a family, and for that reason we are finding more success on the field,” she said.

What Purnell sees are the team’s strengths would be on the offensive end and the capacity to score. This year they have a much bigger roster which works to their advantage. Having much bigger roster means more players on the bench and so this allows them to rotate players and keep them fresh. Purnell said, “Our bench is as strong as our starting line up, and we have the option to move players and try new formations because of that.”

The team looks to be in good shape to make the playoffs again. They went 7-0-2 in the preseason, but league has proven to be a little tougher. Through six games they are 3-3, with the three losses coming in the last four games. According to senior Yesenia Tijerina, the team was a little overconfident against Hollister, who was winless at the time, and they lost 2-0. The third loss has put them at .500 and tied for third place with Watsonville with four games to play. The team will get a chance to avenge their losses to Hollister and Christopher, as well as make a strong push for the playoffs, and maybe get some of their preseason swagger back.