Central Valley’s girls soccer team fell short of its goals this past winter for a myriad of reasons, including injuries, illness and family commitments.
Head coach Miguel Larranaga believes the Hawks will experience a bounce-back season in 2022-23.
“We’re going to be more competitive,” he said. “I see the girls getting stronger every game. They know what they’re doing. We have a good chance to make it to playoffs. We have the girls to do it. I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Central Valley’s roster consists of a mix of veterans and first-year varsity players.
Angie Medrano (Sr.), Yukari Mendoza (Sr.), Michelle Soto (Sr.), Isabella Barajas (Jr.), Emaly Fernandez (Jr.), Viviana Flores (Jr.), Isabella Gudino (Jr.), Niome McMurray (Jr.), Daniela Rodriguez (Jr.), Gianna Silva (So.) and Magnolia Tavison (So.) returned to the team.
Bella Carrera (Sr.), Jenny Flores (Sr.), Giselle Mendez (Sr.), Giselle Hernandez (Jr.), Aaliyah Jauregui (Fr.), Marcella Larranaga (Fr.), Anali Mendoza (Fr.), Maria Mendoza (Fr.) and Jocelyn Rivera (Fr.) are newcomers.
Ally Singh, Maddie Mendonsa, Malina Keomuangchanh, Abigail Hernandez, Natalie Ibarra and Marina Murillo were lost to graduation.
Singh was selected to the Central California Conference First Team.
Mendonsa earned second-team all-league honors.
Keomuangchanh was Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner.
Medrano and Rodriguez have been named team captains for this season.
Medrano was voted Most Valuable Player of the Western Athletic Conference South Division as a sophomore. She tallied a team-high nine goals and three assists.
Soto and Fernandez were both selected to the 2020-21 WAC South First Team. Fernandez had eight goals and three assists as a freshman. Soto collected four goals and four assists as a sophomore.
“The girls get along,” Larranaga said. “It’s a good group. They work well together. We have at least 14 players that play travel soccer during the year. That’s key. You have to have girls that have experience and compete at a high level to have success in high school.”
The shorthanded Hawks struggled to a 6-10-5 overall record and placed fifth in the CCC standings. (1-7-4) last winter.
The top three teams in the CCC qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Central Valley will battle Patterson, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Merced, Golden Valley and El Capitan.
“Our league is very competitive,” Larranaga said. “I believe we have a good chance to compete for the title and get to the playoffs. We got the talent.”
The Hawks have won five conference titles and participated in the playoffs four times the past seven seasons.
Central Valley advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship game during the 2017-18 school year.
“Most of the girls on my teams in the past were on my traveling teams,” Larranaga said. “There was a connection. That will be very hard to match. But we’re working on it. That’s our goal.”