Local high school soccer teams are hitting their mid-season stride this month as Analy and El Molino boys squads embark on what should be a very competitive North Bay League campaign.
Both teams are coming off a good showing in a pair of matches, with the Tigers logging a 2-1 road win at Cardinal Newman before forging a 1-1 non-league tie with Fairfield.
This week, Analy (2-1, 9-1-1) will host El Molino in a NBL Redwood Division clash on Jan. 14 (after press time) followed by a Thursday, Jan. 16, visit to Piner. The Tigers will host Ukiah next Tuesday, Jan. 21. All league varsity matches start at 6 p.m.
The El Molino Lions (1-3, 3-5) will visit Analy on Jan. 14 and host Roseland University Prep on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.
Tigers on a roll
Analy is off to an outstanding start for veteran coach Peter Meechan, adding to their growing win total in a Jan. 7 trip to Cardinal Newman. The Tigers got goals from Armando Parra, Brennan Blondin and Jake Fitch, also benefiting from an own goal in powering to a 4-2 victory.
“We played a complete game with everyone playing at a high level,” Meechan reported.
On Saturday, the Tigers traveled to take on Fairfield in a non-league contest, making a first-half score from Blondin stand up in an eventual 1-1 tie.
Lions gain split
El Molino has been competitive in nearly every match this season and that trend continued in a pair of outings last week.
The Lions got the party started in a non-conference match-up at Antioch on Jan. 4, answering an early Panther’s goal with a pair of scores from Jesse Gonzales, the last coming in the closing seconds to pull out a 2-1 win.
“I had a good halftime talk, and the boys really responded,” El MO coach Dave Rosales said. “The match was really even, but we took care of the ball well.”
The Lions played host to Ukiah on Jan. 7 in what proved to be another even match. Another Gonzales goal sent the teams into halftime knotted at 1-1, but the Lions would get a late goal from Ryan Palmer to emerge with a 2-1 victory.
El Molino finished a busy stretch in a Jan. 9 trip to Piner, with a goal from Cole Van Stone tying the contest at 1-1 at the break. The floodgates opened in the second half as the Prospectors erupted for four goals after intermission en route to a 5-1 win.
“Our defense really struggled in the second half, and Piner’s attack was relentless,” Rosales said.
Lady Tigers fall to Vikings
The Analy Lady Tigers (0-2, 2-3-2) managed one recent outing, a 3-0 loss at perennial power Montgomery on Jan. 8. Analy will resume NBL Oak Division action at Ukiah on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile the Lions (0-4) were idle last week but will open the NBL Redwood Division schedule on Jan. 15 against visiting Rancho Cotate and host Santa Rosa on Jan. 17. Both varsity matches start at 6 p.m.