The high school soccer season officially came to an end for three local teams on Feb. 19, each falling in the first round of the North Coast Section playoffs.
Representing west county were the Analy boys and girls, along with the El Molino girls. Below is a recap of their playoff matches.
The Lady Tigers (5-10-4) were the No. 15 seed in the NCS Division 3 tourney, squaring off at No. 2 ranked Acalanes in the playoff opener. Analy gave the Dons all they could handle, but Acalanes would make a first-half goal stand up en route to a 1-0 win.
“The game was close throughout,” Tigers’ coach Brian Heacock reported, citing the fine play of center-back Luna McCullough and goalie Kaija Bazzano.
“The girls battled to the end and were very close to scoring the equalizer in the last minute,” he said.
Overall, Analy logged a very competitive season in the North Bay League, with most matches decided by two goals or less.
“We competed in a very strong NBL Oak division this season, and nearly every contest we played in was close,” Heacock reflected. “The girls showed a lot of grit by playing hard and smart to the end of every game.”
El Molino girls
The Lady Lions (6-10) finished up a strong winter campaign as the No. 16 seed in the NCS Division 4 playoff tourney, taking on No. 1 ranked Cardinal Newman in Santa Rosa on Feb. 19.
It was all Cardinals, scoring early and often in powering to a 7-0 victory.
“The girls played their hearts out the entire game,” El Mo coach Emily Farrant said. “This year our team was full of some of the hardest working young ladies we have ever coached. We’re looking forward to watching this El Molino team grow over the next few years with the talent we have.”
The future is bright for the Lions, which had a core of freshmen that accounted for 14 of the team’s 17 goals scored this season.
“We will definitely be a team worth watching over the next few years,” Farrant noted.
The Tigers (14-6-1) wrapped up an outstanding season as the No. 11 seed in the NCS Division 3 playoffs, falling at No. 6 San Francisco University, 3-1.
Analy was among the top teams in the NBL Redwood Division, finishing in third place with a 7-5 league record. The Tigers fielded one of the youngest varsity teams in the league this year and hope to return 20 of 22 players to next year’s squad.