Sobrato makes its mark; moving up to top division

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Not even a 3-0 drubbing to Mountain View High in the Central Coast Section Division I playoff championship match last Saturday at Del Mar High could put a damper on the Sobrato High girls soccer team’s season. Based off a terrific 2019-2020 season and with several starters returning next year, the Bulldogs have been promoted to play in the Blossom Valley League’s top division, the Mount Hamilton, for the 2020-2021 season. That says all you need to know on the direction the program is headed.

“It was a tough way to end the season, but overall the girls were still happy with what they accomplished this year,” Bulldogs coach Miguel Gutierrez said. “They were looking forward to going into state (NorCals) and continuing the season. There were more tears of joy than anything, because we know we’ll have a good team coming back next year.”

It was a season to remember for the Bulldogs, who finished 13-5-4, won the BVAL Santa Teresa Division championship and had a nice run in reaching the CCS playoff title match. Gutierrez said Tea Reyes, Erin Hoge, Ailonnie Lorenzana and Chloe Gallipeo had strong scoring chances against Mountain View, but none could find the net. 

“Give credit to Mountain View—they were able to throw us off our game a little,” Gutierrez said. “They did well in trying to prevent our style of play (from controlling the action). Our girls were trying super hard, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

If all goes well, Sobrato will be loaded next year to make another CCS title run. Not only will the Bulldogs return several starters, but Gutierrez expects a couple of freshmen to come in and make an impact along with returning players from this year’s team and the potential return of some talented players who opted not to play this season. For example, juniors Ashley and Hailey Freeman could be joined by their sister next year, Gutierrez said, which would mean there could be a set of triplets on the field at the same time. 

“And all of the Freeman sisters can play and make an impact,” Gutierrez said. “I think the future of Sobrato girls soccer is bright as far as the young talent coming up.”

Freshman goalkeeper Kate Mandrell showed flashes of brilliant play in the second half against Mountain View, while sophomore Kiersta Gurney was solid throughout the season. Another talented goalkeeper could be joining the mix next year, which would make for a terrific trio. 

Add those players to a mix that includes key returnees like Reyes (15 goals), Greenlee Kauinana and Karina Von Almen—just to name a few—and it’s no wonder it’s looking like the sky is the limit for Sobrato. Reyes earned BVAL Santa Teresa Division Freshman of the Year honors, Kauinana was the Sophomore of the Year and Hailey Freeman the Junior of the Year. Gallipeo, Hannah Pfefferlen, Kiana Ton and Von Almen earned First Team honors, while Katie Somavia, Kaila Sheldon and Lorenzana earned Second Team honors. Gutierrez won the Coach of the Year award in his first season coaching the varsity team.