The Ceres Earthquakes FC Elite under-18 girls competitive soccer team climbed to No. 1 in the gotsoccer.com national rankings earlier this month.
“It’s unbelievable,” head coach Miguel Larranaga said. “I’m very proud of the girls. It’s an accumulation of what they’ve done throughout the year. It’s not easy. It’s a lot of work. They’ve been consistent.”
Ceres previously ranked third in the nation.
“The two biggest reasons this team is so successful is the talent of the girls and the coaching,” said Larranaga, who was quick to praise assistants Adam Bolanos and Humberto Luna. “It’s not normal at this level to have all superstars. They’re pretty much the stars of their teams in high school.”
The Earthquakes’ roster features 18 players, including local standouts Jocelyn Lopez, Abigail Martinez, Jackie Sanchez, Citlaly Salinas, Mariah Trevino, Edith Larranaga, Miranda Larranaga, Siriana Gudino and Arianah Martinez.
Lopez, Martinez, Sanchez and Salinas are and/or were key members of Central Valley High School’s varsity girls soccer program, which claimed its fourth consecutive conference title during the 2018-19 school year.
Lopez, Martinez and Sanchez graduated in June.
Martinez, Gudino, Trevino, Edith Larranaga and Miranda Larranaga teamed up at Ceres High School, which secured its fifth straight Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth this past winter.
Trevino and Edith Larranaga also graduated.
“It’s so easy to coach this group,” Miguel Larranaga said “They know the system. They know what we want and expect. The majority of the girls have played together for nine years. That makes a big difference. They all get along well.”
The Earthquakes will compete at the Pleasanton Rage College Showcase, July 19-21, at the Pleasanton Sportspark fields.
“You use the rankings to motivate the girls,” coach Larranaga said.
“Everybody is going to want to beat us because we’re the top team in the nation,” he added. “It’s going to be very tough. I think we’ll do well. We have to.”