Making a Statement

Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team Dominating Gabilan Division


Jayleene Castro

In a 4-2 win over the Salinas Cowboys on January 3rd, junior Ronaldo Corona earned praise for his steady play and applying pressure to his opponents. “I enjoy seeing the whole field, being an anchor and leading the team by communicating,” he said. “I see all the action occurring which means I need to be loud and talk to my teammates a lot.”

Last year, the boys’ varsity soccer team finished with a record of 16-4-2,  and reached the CCS Championship, losing 0-2 to Aragon. Coach Mark Cisneros, who has been the coach for 18 years, said, “We lost some seniors, but we have a very strong core coming back. We were a young team last year, made up of mostly juniors and sophomores and this year we’re more mature and have a stronger team than last year.” 

Some goals Cisneros has for this season are  to work really hard and compete as much as they can. Our goals are always to win the league championship to go to the CCS playoffs and to get to the Northern California State championship, and our goal is also to win all three of those this year,” he said.

A strong core returner is junior Yair Miranda, who is playing his third year and plays right back. Some strengths he sees in the team is that everyone is passionate and mature about their tasks. Some goals he wants are to win league and potentially the CCS championship. 

Another returner is senior Yony Avelar, playing his 4th year on varsity. Some strengths he sees in the team is that the team is “united, hard working, and positive.” Some goals he hopes to accomplish as a team is to win state, league, and CCS. 

The team opened with a 3-0 win over Branham in San Jose. On December 8, they had their first defeat against Bellarmine, 3-1.  “I think it’s good to face schools with that level of football, these are the games that prepare us for our upcoming showcase and league,” junior Ronaldo Corona said. “Although we lost, I’d suggest we have more communication and work better as a team.” 

Attending a 3-day tournament, Central Valley Showcase, the team lost the first game and won the 3 following games. They made it to the finals and ended up being champions of the showcase. In the end, Alisal had a record of 3-1-3 in preseason.

According to Cisneros, the preseason schedule did a lot in preparing the team, as the team is undefeated in league play at 6-0. “I’m feeling good about our season so far,” Cisneros said. “It will be important for us to remain consistent in our mental approach and the quality of our play.” 

He highlighted the character of the team, along with the leadership of the captains, Yoni Avelar and Nathan Saldana. “They provide the calm and guidance the team needs.“

Cisneros said the level of competition they will be facing in league play and in the postseason, will be tough. “At this point, we will approach each game as individual thoughts and work our way through them,” he said