Soccer teams win Section Championships

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It was an exciting week for Winters High School Athletics with both the men’s and women’s soccer teams winning the second round of playoffs and securing the Northern California CIF Section Championship titles on Saturday. Both teams competed in the NorCal CIF Regionals on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Women’s soccer
Last Tuesday, Feb. 21 the women’s soccer team won their playoff game against Colusa High School, at home, by a score of 8–0.

This was the third time Winters faced Colusa, and they went into the game optimistic. While Colusa came determined to stay in the game, holding the Warriors at 2–0 at halftime, the Warriors quickly dominated Colusa in the second half adding six more goals to their total.

Yarethzy Sanchez and Izabella Bermudez scored the first two goals of the game off assists by Andrea Cojean and Ava Muir-Vickrey in the first.

“In the second half, we found our rhythm and scored six more goals to seal the semifinal victory,” said head coach Chip McKenna.

Samantha Ramirez added three goals in the second half in addition to Muir-Vickrey,

Andrea Cojean and Elena Ortiz each scored one. The Warriors’ defense did an excellent job protecting their goal and clearing any of the attempts Colusa made to take a shot.

“Everyone got significant playing time which is great to provide our young, less experienced players with opportunities in higher pressure settings,” said McKenna.

This victory was extremely exciting for the Warriors because it allowed them to compete for the Section Championship Title, which is the ultimate goal.

On Saturday, Feb. 25, the women’s soccer team took the title of Section Champions, winning the game against Hamilton High School by a score of 3–0.

“The game versus Hamilton started well. We dominated possession for the first 15 min but our nervousness began to show,” said McKenna.

With a tied score of 0–0 going into the second half the girls quickly convened at half-time and the results showed. During the second half, the Warriors had more controlled passing and finally had goals scored by Ava Skinner, Samantha Ramirez, and a penalty by Muir-Vickrey to seal the victory.

“The defense played well again and kept a clean sheet, but they were rarely challenged. Sammy Ramirez was, again, key for us in the midfield, but the whole team contributed to the effort,” said McKenna.

The women advanced on to play Lowell High School in San Francisco to compete in the NorCal CIF Regionals Division V Soccer Championship on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Men’s soccer
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the men’s soccer team won their home playoff game against Maxwell by a score of 9–1.

It was a slow first half as the Warriors not only battled against Maxwell but also had cold and windy playing conditions. It was the second half of the game when they were finally able to use the wind to their advantage, scoring seven goals.

Agustin Covarrubias was the lead scorer for the day with three goals. Alejandro Murillo had two goals, while Noel Gutierrez, Salvador Torres, Sebastian Pedraza and Esai Garcia each scored one.

“Gustavo Herrera, a midfielder for the Warriors, had a great game and made five assists. He had great vision and excelled at finding the spaces and open players,” said head coach Fernando Cervantes.

Garcia, Luis Lara and Sebastian Rodriguez were also key players defensively and did a great job protecting both Jairo Barajas and Bryan Angel at goal.

This victory against Maxwell allowed the men’s soccer team to advance into the Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25 where they won their home playoff game against Williams High School by a score of 4–1.

The men once again played in tough conditions, however, the cold temperature and slippery fields didn’t stop the Warriors from competing at the top of their game.

“We started a little off. I think we were just trying to do a little too much,” said Cervantes.

Williams scored first, which for some teams is very hard to recover from, but the Warriors didn’t allow it to get in their head. Murillo got the Warriors started off with a goal in the first half, which gave the men the momentum they needed to take over the game.

“Williams beat us in the championships last year so we really wanted this one,” said Cervantes.

The Warriors really put in the effort to communicate and play together as a team, Covarrubias stepped into a more defensive role and let his teammates do more of the work up top. After Murillo, Gutierrez scored two goals for the Warriors and Pedraza scored one which secured their title as Section Champions.

“I thought that everyone really stepped up and did a great job. Now we just need to carry that momentum into the game against Marshall without two of our key players who are out due to injuries they sustained in the Championship game,” said Cervantes.

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