FAIRFIELD — There won’t be an league champions among this year’s city high school girls soccer teams, but Armijo and Vanden are in second place with the former having all but clinched a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths and latter already there.
Here’s a look at each city team as the regular season winds down:
The Indians (10-4-3, 6-3-3) could’ve gotten a stranglehold on second place with a win or dropped to third with a loss to Vacaville on Tuesday, but the teams settled for a 2-2 tie.
With 21 points in hand heading into Thursday’s home game with Wood, Armijo has a one-point lead on the Bulldogs (14-5-4, 6-4-2) and needs only a tie in its last three games or a loss or tie by Napa (5-8-3, 4-6-2) to clinch a playoff berth.
Returning starters for the Indians are senior forward Monique Evans, who scored both goals against Vacaville, senior forward Dulce Armas, who had an assist, senior midfielder Jasmine Calderon, junior midfielder Mikayla Elder, senior defender Amanda Bernal, sophomore defender Emily Tabada and senior goalkeeper Anna Castro.
Junior Aly Bowers has split time between forward and outside midfield, “where she can make more runs with her speed and see more open field when we switch the ball,” Indians coach Brad Burzynski said.
Bernal and fellow senior Caitlin Andersen have moved from midfield to defense, “which is a more natural position,” Burzynski said. “This has strengthened our defense and even given us a chance to be more offensive out of the back.”
Armijo has also gotten significant contributions from freshmen Jackie Elder at midfield, Allana Finley at defender and Taylor Morris at goalkeeper.
“Our goal is to return to the postseason,” Burzynski said. “We have a very senior-centered group combined with young talent. Our team chemistry and work ethic has never been better. If we continue to improve attacking and defending as a complete unit, we will only get better as we move through this season.”
Under first-year coach Kayla Primas, the Vikings (10-6-2, 10-3-0) clinched the Solano County Athletic Conference’s No. 2 spot with a 4-0 win over Bethel and American Canyon’s 2-0 loss to Vallejo.
“Our only three losses during the season have come from Benicia,” Primas said. “We lost 1-0, 2-0 and 3-1. We are handling adversity and versatility among different talent levels on the team and the girls are creating special bonds and chemistry as the season moves forward.”
The veteran Vikings return senior forwards Casey Lostak, Heidi Carr and Megan Frizzie, senior midfielder Haylee Pedro, senior defenders Jaleena Hust and Sarah Lisenko, junior midfielder/forward Josey Breeden and junior goalkeeper Heather Walsh.
Other starters include freshmen defenders Alecea Mexas, Angelica Terry and Kristen Richards.
The Vikings have also received solid contributions from junior midfielder Hara Shabazz and senior defenders Darrian Serr and Danielle Watson.
“This specific group of young ladies is very special and has what it takes to progress rapidly through the playoffs this year,” Primas said. “We focus on skill, work ethic and respecting not only ourselves but our opponents as well. We treat every game as if it is our last and for many of the seniors I know they are very serious about doing whatever it takes to prolong their season.”
It’s been a roller coaster ride of a season for the Mustangs (4-7-7, 2-7-3), who have a 1-1 tie with league-leading Vintage and a 3-0 loss to last-place Wood. The latest bump was a 1-0 loss to Napa on Tuesday.
“We have had significant injuries this year, which has forced us to play some players out of position,” first-year coach Josh Levine said. “This has made things very challenging and has led to us tying games we probably should have won and losing games that we should have tied.”
Returning starters for Rodriguez are senior goalkeeper Sarah Free, senior center defender Isabella Perez, senior outside defender Nicole Neal and junior forward Kassie Hendricsen.
Also starting for the Mustangs are senior Julie DeVries at outside defender, juniors attacking midfielder Juliet Ramirez at attacking midfielder, Haley Mosher at defensive midfielder, Anna Pena at right midfielder, Jammie Petty at center defender, sophomore Andrea Hernandez at left midfielder and freshman Natalie Neal at forward
Other key players include senior outside defender Karina Rubio, senior attacking/defensive midfielder Nicole Castro and junior forward Rylee McNeill.
“I think the biggest strength of our team is our depth,” Levine said. “When a player has gone down, we have had talented players to step in. Although having a lot of injuries has made things difficult, our depth has allowed us to be in almost every game and given us opportunities for success.”
The Falcons (1-12-0, 1-12-0) have split games with Bethel and host the Jaguars on Thursday. Otherwise it’s been a tough season, but one in which coach Jose Alvarado feels good about the team’s effort.
“We been having to deal with many injuries where our players have to miss partial games even full games,” he said. “But we are proud about the effort that the girls have made.”
Back as starters for Fairfield are seniors Sallie Canumay at forward, Kelsie Savko at goalkeeper and Lia Williams at center defender, junior Maria Solorzano at right midfielder, and juniors Dejha Moore and Madison Maglalang at center midfielder.
Also starting are seniors Jasmine Edmondson at right defender and Airi Sanchez at forward, sophomores Laura Castro at left midfielder and Yessenia Amezcua at left defender, and freshman Damoniece Yiggins at center defender.
“My goal for the team is for these girls to have fun, as well as keep them healthy,” Alvarado said. “Also to show them that when you try and don’t give up, everything is possible. And the most important thing is that sports are made for us to make new friends.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.