For the fourth time in the last five years, the Winters High School girls soccer team made their way into the Northern Section Championship game. Despite an injury prone season, the Warriors persevered and found themselves competing for another section championship.
Winters won the title in 2014, 2015 and again in 2016. In 2017, the Warriors won the league championship but were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs. This year, Winters placed third in the Sacramento Valley League with a 4-3-1 record behind number one Colusa and number two Live Oak.
The Warriors played Colusa in a tournament on Dec. 2, in a game that ended in a tie. On Jan. 11, they played their first league game against each other where Colusa came out on top with a 2-1 victory. The two played again on Jan. 30, in their second league match up and this time it was the Warriors pulling off a 1-0 win.
The two teams matched up for the fourth time this season on Tuesday, Feb. 20, this time in the semi final game of the Division III playoffs. Now that Winters had most of their players back from injuries, it was a different story. Winters scored one goal in the first half and two more in the second for a 3-0 shutout over the RedHawks while advancing into the section championship game.
Karina Vasquez scored two goals to lead Winters, while Corinne McKenna scored one off a penalty kick. Defensively, Winters totaled 42 steals and seven saves. Fatima Guzman had the seven saves at goalkeeper, while Katie Rotenkolber led the team with seven steals.
Victoria Olton and Stephanie Angel each had six steals. Lizette Bermudez had five steals. Cara Baker, Vivian Del Toro and Michelle Reyes each had three steals, McKenna, Vasquez and Amy Pizano each had two, while Hamilton, Ivett Arellano and Abby Delao each had one steal.
“My defensive line of Rotenkolber, Angel, Olton and Bermudez did a great job, said coach Kim Olivas.
“They have been solid all season and work as one unit. Against Colusa they were nearly impenetrable, they only allowed seven shots on goal and helped our goalkeeper maintain a clean sheet. They insured our moving onto the championship game.”
On Saturday, Feb. 24, Winters faced University Prep from Redding and lost 6-0 in the section championship game. The Panthers were the number one team in the section posting an overall record of 23-2 and an undefeated league record of 10-0. Winters finished their successful season with an overall record of 11-9-3 and are the NSCIF Division III Runner Up.
“We lost our starting goalkeeper, Fatima Guzman 10 minutes in to a concussion,” Olivas explained.
“Karina Vasquez came out 15 minutes in with a nagging injury from the Colusa game. Just too many injuries this season to overcome.”