Carson High School soccer teams reload for new season
Carson High’s boys soccer program heads into this weekend’s tournament at Galena at less than full strength.
The Senators, who went 15-5 last season and lost 1-0 in the regional semifinals to Galena, return 10 players from the squad. The bad news is six players are currently academically ineligible, and in the process of trying to make up work.
“The core is still there,” said coach Frank Martinez. “Seven of them were on the state team (two years ago). Most of this group has been together since they were 8 years old. I’m excited for this year. We have a good group, and they all play very fast.
“It’s a new year. Galena should be up there again and probably Wooster. North Valleys should be good, too.”
That excitement could turn into despair if the players are unable to bring up their grades in the time allotted.
Seniors Christian Martinez (1 goal), Raul Lopez, Osvaldo Gomez (5 goals, 1 assist) and Isael Lopez return on the back line.
“Isael is strong and fast,” Martinez said. “He has been the biggest surprise so far.”
Daniel Escalante, Max Navarro, Ismael Mendoza and Omar Gallegos provide depth in the back row.
Senior Ernesto Lamas (1 goal, 1 assist), senior Guillermo Perez (1 goals, 4 assists) and senior Ricardo Gonzalez are back in the midfield.
Michael Rodriquez, Aidan Torres and Ronniel Elliott will be battling for playing time in the midfield.
Angel Gonzalez and Efren Ramirez will be up front. Ramirez played keeper mostly last season, but he also played in the field and scored seven goals while dishing out three assists.
“Efren is a good finisher,” Martinez said. “I’d like to keep Efren up front and Jose in goal if I can. Ricardo can play up front, too.”
Ramirez, junior keeper Jose Rodriguez and sophomore Leonardo Barajas are between the pipes.
One of the players Martinez is high on is Cesar Medina, who’s currently ineligible.
“He can score with either foot,” Martinez said. “I’m excited about him.”
The most significant losses are all-league defender Peter Garrett and all-league midfielder Guillermo Hernandez.
Wakeling, Galvan lead girls varsity squad
Only six players return from last year’s 16-1-1 squad that lost in a shootout to McQueen in the semifinals of the regional playoffs last year.
Coach Greg Lehman has departed, and longtime club coach Jose Garcia has taken the reins of the Senators’ highly successful program.
“Everything is great so far,” said Garcia, whose team hosts Reno next Tuesday in a crossover match at 6:45 p.m. “The team has looked good though we did lose a lot of talent from last year’s team.”
Gone through graduation are Mallory (15 goals) and Molly Otto (1 goal, 3 assists), Sierra League Defensive Player of the Year Valerie Sue Meyer (2 goals, 3 assists), Sophia Ruedy (2 goals, 6 assists). Lauren Hudak (5 goals, 5 assists) and Gabriela Cid (3 goals, 3 assists). That’s a ton of firepower. Also missing is senior Brynn Lehman, who opted to concentrate on rodeo instead of finishing out her soccer career.
Two of the top scorers — forward Bella Wakeling (7 goals, 8 assists) and midfielder Yanitzia Galvan (11 goals, six assists) — are back along with midfielders Micah Merriner and Valeria Martinez plus defenders Alana Burson and Jasmine Peralta.
“Both (Wakeling and Galvan) have played great,” Garcia said. “We’ll play Bella up front and Yanitzia will play in the midfield and up front depending on how the game is going. Bella is tough. She is a very aggressive player. Yanitzia is a very smart player, one of the best in the area.”
Garcia feels his team is strong up front and in the middle, Sophomore Lilian Bouza figures to start alongside Wakeling up front. Galvan, Merriner, Verenice Garcia and Martinez in the midfield.
“We’ve been practicing more on defense,” Garcia said.
Burson, Vanessa Camaraena, who was last year’s keeper, Annika Wick and Taylor Dawley have the inside track on the back line.
The keeper is freshman Marissa Perez-Morris.
“She is pretty good,” Garcia said. “You will be surprised.”
Camarena posted eight shutouts a year ago thanks to a strong back line led by Meyer, who’s now at Saint Mary’s College.
Freshman Veronica Burson, Valeria Torres, Emily Doddridge, Mia Olmos and Mariana Talamantes round out the squad.