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January 28, 2023

Soccer | Lady Aztecs move to 6-1 record after first loss

SOLEDAD — Once again, the Soledad Aztec girls’ soccer team proves why they are one of the best in the Pacific Coast Athletic League by moving to 6-1 on the season.

Coming into the season, the Lady Aztecs knew they would have a good team this year, with several of their all-leaguers returning.

Soledad entered the 16th Annual Watsonville Tournament to begin the season. In their first match with Ceiba College Prep, they picked up where they left off from a year ago, winning 11-0. In round two, they beat a good Harbor team, who right now is 5-3, and cruised to another blowout victory 7-1.

In their tournament, the Lady Aztecs faced Pajaro Valley, a team that gave them some trouble last season. The Aztecs would get a challenge from PV, but they ultimately moved to 3-0 in the tournament, beating them 4-3.

During their first three games, they outscored their opponents 22-4. Soledad’s leading soccer player from last year, Sophia Martel, scored six goals.

After the tournament, the Lady Aztecs had three games with three teams from the Gabilan Division. On paper, it would be the hardest of their schedule. But first, they had a game with their South Monterey County rival, the King City Mustangs.

Last season when King City and Soledad were in the same league, the Lady Aztecs won the season series. This time, the Aztecs continued their winning streak, beating the Mustangs 9-0.

To start the week, Soledad’s first game was against the Alisal Trojans. The Trojans gave the Aztecs all they could handle, but Martel scored on a penalty kick to give Soledad the 1-0 win.

In their next game, Soledad was up against North Salinas High School. Last year the Aztecs beat them 3-2. The Lady Aztecs once again knocked off the Lady Vikings 2-1, with Martel scoring all the goals in the game.

So far this season, Martel has 13 saves — second in the PCAL.

In their final matchup, the Aztecs took on arguably the best team in the PCAL, the Salinas High Cowboys. Last year the Cowboys were CCS champs.

The Cowboys proved too much for Soledad, beating them 2-0 and handing the Aztecs their first loss of the season.

Jason Gallardo
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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