Monte Vista soccer team gets a fresh start

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Monte Vista’s Lady Monarchs are ruling the soccer field this season. 

Finishing their last preseason game with a 2-1 win against Valley Center High School on January 6, 2017, the Monarchs (10-2-1) find themselves poised to lead league standings. This would be nothing exceptional if it were not for the five freshmen and handful of former junior varsity players who have taken the field by storm.

Head coach Josh Sandoval said the team is bursting with potential.

Monte Vista’s Lady Monarchs are ruling the soccer field this season. 

Finishing their last preseason game with a 2-1 win against Valley Center High School on January 6, 2017, the Monarchs (10-2-1) find themselves poised to lead league standings. This would be nothing exceptional if it were not for the five freshmen and handful of former junior varsity players who have taken the field by storm.

Head coach Josh Sandoval said the team is bursting with potential.

“We’ve got a lot of talent,” he said. “We didn’t have any seniors on the team last year so we retained everybody that game back, and we just added several players from our junior varsity team and we added five new freshmen that really help out the program.” 

Senior Monarch Brittany Kempton said the new additions round out the team.

“The freshmen are very good,” she said. “I like having them on the team. They make our team stronger and better.”

The Freshmen Five are not just helping out on the field, they are shaping the team from the inside.

“Three of our captains are freshmen this year with our one senior captain,” said Sandoval. “The captains choose themselves. It’s based on their work ethic and what they can do.”

Sandoval said positive peer pressure and healthy competition between the girls for leadership roles and starting positions has made the difference for the team this year.

“We run this team as a meritocracy,” he said. “Every day, players are bumping each other in and out of the starting line up. It’s a really good atmosphere for the girls. They are learning how to be consistent day in and day out and to not be complacent, and that’s what’s giving us that edge this year.”

In the Lady Vaquero Tournament held throughout December 2016, the Monarchs took Varsity Bronze, getting knocked out of the semifinals by Mar Vista High School.

Monte Vista has nearly a two-week break before their first league match against Santana on Jan. 18. Sandoval said the team has sustained a few injuries so, though they will be active, they plan to use this time to recuperate before jumping into a month of conference matches.

“The girls have a lot of momentum,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of hope and a lot of excitement going into the season.”

Sandoval said his goals for the team, green as they are despite their obvious talents, are to help them set a good pace for themselves. He said he believes they have a good chance at CIF this season and next.

“I’m really excited for the next two or three years to see where this freshmen group goes,” he said. “It’ll be exciting.”

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