Last winter, the girls varsity soccer team had its most successful season ever, finishing first in Division I of the Central Coast Section (CCS) for the first time in M-A history, in addition to placing second in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL).
“Welcome to high school soccer! It is special to play for your school, and enjoy the experience!” -Coach Jason Luce
Jason Luce, the M-A girls varsity and junior varsity soccer coach, has coached M-A players for seven seasons. This season he is looking for players who are hard working, show strong soccer skills, are team players, comprise a competitive spirit, and have potential. Luce believes with such players the girls soccer teams will have another fantastic season.
Despite losing nine seniors, the varsity girls hope to win CCS for the second season in a row. Luce shared that while “last season was a proud one, both for varsity winning CCS and JV as co-champions of league,” his “proudest moments are helping individual players improve and helping the team succeed.”
The team lost captains Talia Missan and Sarah McLeod, as well as Molly Briggs, Jordan Olesen, Jaya Blanchard, Zoe Ford, Kelsey Reed, Kasey Love, and Julia Moreton. This season’s returning seniors include Nicole Salz, Katie Guenin, Alissa McNerney, Margaret Child, Allison Galbraith, and Ali Sivilotti.
Key returning varsity players Guenin, Josephine Cotto, Salz and Breanna Sandoval shared their advice for incoming freshmen, favorite memories from playing for M-A, and hopes for the 2016-2017 season.
Junior Cotto has played for the varsity team since her freshman year, mainly as a center forward. Cotto explained, “I love the camaraderie;” a highlight from her prior seasons was “making new friends with people in different grades than [her].” Cotto shared, “My advice to incoming players would be to enjoy every practice and game because the season goes by super fast when you’re having fun.”
Guenin, a fourth-year varsity player, hopes for another CCS title and looks “forward to new talent joining the team.” Guenin has been a key contributor for the past three years, playing primarily right-forward. She added, “My favorite memory of last year was when we won the CCS championships.” Guenin also advised incoming freshmen, “Don’t stress about tryouts, and don’t worry about how well your friends are doing. Focus on yourself, and showcase what you have to offer the team.”
Salz will play her fourth season for the M-A varsity team this winter as a midfielder and forward. Salz explained, “My favorite thing is the people. Everyone is very accepting and forgiving of each other, and it’s a really fun and supporting environment.” She continued, “I’m most looking forward to seeing the players and coaches again and practices because they’re always really fun. My favorite experience was winning CCS because everyone was so happy and proud of each other.” Salz concluded, “My advice would be to work hard because we really value that, but also have fun.”
Sandoval has been the varsity goalkeeper for two years. As a junior this year, Sandoval is really “excited to see how well [the team] does this year,” and she loves the group of girls who play. In her two years on the team, Sandoval found that not only did the players get “along well [and have] good chemistry,” but that “the environment… was really fun and relaxing,” allowing her to focus on improving and having a great season. Sandoval advised incoming players to introduce themselves to coach Luce and “just give it your all.”
The Bears are looking forward to a fun, successful season this winter!