SOLEDAD — An early goal by the Monterey High Toreadores girls soccer team stood up in the Central Coast Section semifinals against Soledad High Aztecs.
The win earned the Toreadores a spot in last Saturday’s championship game at home, where they lost 1-0 in overtime to South San Francisco.
In the semifinal game in Monterey, Toreadores forward Layla Chu Coloma scored in the first half off a pass from teammate Isabella Licea. The Lady Aztecs had opportunities to tie the game in the first half and had a series of corner shots in the final minutes that just missed the net area.
“After not playing during the winter, we thought that soccer was not going to happen this year,” said Soledad Head Coach Maria Zamora. “However, the love for the sport and the energy from the soccer players made it happen. We were blessed with the opportunity to compete this year. It was unprecedented circumstances, but we managed to play with our hearts and that force carried us through a CCS semifinal. Having only a varsity team, the coaches knew that the individual level of the players was going to be very varied. From day one, we focused on key strategies so our rising players with little or no experience could come together and support the team with talent.”
Zamora praised her players, especially the seniors for being mentors to their younger teammates.
“Seniors and other players who had been in varsity previous years were incredibly supportive with the younger players and that patience and perseverance reflected every time we played,” Zamora said. “I have always seen the Covid pandemic as an opportunity to better ourselves in every aspect of our lives. I strongly believe that change is not always good but being able to adapt to those changes is what makes an individual or the collective effort successful.”
She added, “Our Lady Aztecs this season represent three of my favorite words: love, solidarity and resilience. I want to give a special thanks to my assistant coaches Jose Aguilar and Jose Tejeda for their love of the sport and their continued commitment with the team.”