SOLEDAD — Last season the Soledad Aztecs varsity girls’ soccer team went 8-1-1 and won their first Cypress title, but after their 2-1 loss to Rancho San Juan Trailblazers on Saturday, they are in danger of missing the playoffs.

When the season started, the Lady Aztecs were considered the best team in the Central Coast Section (CCS). Last year they went 13-3-2, winning the Cypress Division and earning the top spot in the CCS Division IV playoffs. The team was filled with sophomores and juniors, including Sophia Martel, one of the best players in the area who scored 50 goals last season.

To start this year, Soledad won their first six games of the season. They even went out of their way to schedule teams Alisal and North Salinas. They suffered their first loss of the season to the Salinas High Cowboys, 2-0, who might be one of the top teams in the entire CCS.

After the loss to Salinas, it was time to begin league play, where the Lady Aztecs were the favorite to win the Mission Division. They picked up their first league loss to Monte Vista Christian, 1-0.

Since that time, the Lady Aztecs have gone 4-4-1. In their last five matches they have gone 2-3, including a match with Rancho San Juan that was a must-win if they wanted to stay afloat in the title race in the Mission Division.

Rancho San Juan, however, swept the season series against the Aztecs, winning 2-1 on Feb. 4.

The bad news for the Lady Aztecs is that their chance to win the Mission Division title is done, and if the playoffs were to begin today, they could be on the outside looking in.

Right now, according to online stats, Soledad trails Rancho San Juan, Carmel High School, Monte Vista Christian and Pajaro valley.

The good news is that the Lady Aztecs have three move games, including one against Monte Vista Christian at home on Monday. They beat MVC by 6-1.

On Wednesday, Soledad traveled to Pajaro Valley, where they won 1-0 — improving their league record to 6-4-1.

The Aztecs Senior Night is Friday, Feb. 10, against Pacific Collegiate at 5:45 p.m.

If the Lady Aztecs can somehow find their form and get into the playoffs, this team has the talent to make a run at a CCS title. But if they don’t make the playoffs, it will be one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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