2016-12-09 / Sports

Striking distance

Royal, Simi Valley girls’ soccer squads want to win Coastal Canyon League title
By Jonathan Andrade


SUNSET IN ROYAL VALLEY—Few teams can slow down Zoe Hasenauer, left, a junior for the Royal High girls’ soccer team and one of the best players in Ventura County. Hasenauer verbally committed to Oregon. 
Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers SUNSET IN ROYAL VALLEY—Few teams can slow down Zoe Hasenauer, left, a junior for the Royal High girls’ soccer team and one of the best players in Ventura County. Hasenauer verbally committed to Oregon. Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers The Coastal Canyon League received a boost of talented freshman girls’ soccer players this winter.

Moorpark, the two-time defending league champion, has its work cut out for it trying to fend off Royal, Simi Valley, Oak Park and Camarillo.

“We’re keeping an eye on everyone right now,” Moorpark head coach Mike Alexander said. “Royal is a very talented program coming back with a strong team this year. Simi Valley is young but they’re very talented. Oak Park has a lot of returners. The girls I know at Camarillo are very excited because they had a very good freshman class come in.”

ROYAL HIGHLANDERS


GAIN CONTROL—Royal’s Jaycee Fuller, right, and La Reina’s Sydney O’Neil fight for possession of the ball during a match on Dec. 5. GAIN CONTROL—Royal’s Jaycee Fuller, right, and La Reina’s Sydney O’Neil fight for possession of the ball during a match on Dec. 5. Highlander forwards are on fire.

Royal (4-0 overall) has outscored opponents 19-2 to start the year, including a 2-1 win over Newbury Park on Wednesday.

Zoe Hasenauer, Royal’s superstar forward who led the Coastal Canyon League with 28 goals last year, has already found the back of the net eight times this season. The junior verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Oregon.

“We’re very attack-minded,” Royal co-head coach Jami Scrudato said. “We’re hoping (Hasenauer) comes out and does what she does best. We’ve done a good job of building chemistry around that with a bunch of kids who are aggressive to get goals as well.”

Amanda Torres, a junior forward, and Jaycee Fuller, a sophomore, bolster the Highlander offense.


ON THE RUN—Simi Valley’s Delaney Kenney receives a pass in stride during the Pioneers’ match against Pacifica on Dec. 5. ON THE RUN—Simi Valley’s Delaney Kenney receives a pass in stride during the Pioneers’ match against Pacifica on Dec. 5. Senior captains Skylar Rose and Maddie Mackenzie, both midfielders, dictate tempo from the middle of the pitch. Erin Sakamoto, a senior, also roams the midfield.

Junior Hamneet Grewal and sophomore Amanda Sevcsisin solidify the defensive back line.

Marissa Froio, a junior, returns as the starting goalkeeper.

Royal will try to take down Moorpark, which has won consecutive league titles.

“We respect them,” Scrudato said of the Musketeers. “They’ve done good things. We’ll have to play disciplined and keep good shape defensively. We just have to hope our attacking game works against them.”

SIMI VALLEY PIONEERS

The Pioneers’ potent offense helped the team jump to a 4-1 start.

Simi Valley outscored opponents 19-4 through five matches. It took the team 10 games last season to score its 19th goal. The team’s only loss so far was to a tough Newbury Park squad.

“There’s a lot of energy and good team chemistry,” secondyear head coach Justin Vaughn said. “It’s a young core so they’re exciting and fun to watch.”

Sophomores Delaney Kenney and Jaden Skinner and freshman Emily Fraye lead the midfield.

“They’re all first-year varsity players, but they won the spots,” the coach said. “They’re really talented, and they’ll be together the next three years. That’s exciting.”

An experienced offense has helped out the youngsters in the midfield.

Juniors Elysia Laramie and Janelle Effarah and sophomore Amanda Crawford are the Pioneers’ top scoring threats. Nicole “Nikki” Flores, a senior captain, will split time at forward and defender.

Simi Valley’s strength is its defense. Kayla Slack, a senior, teams up with juniors Baily Green, Gabriela Robles and Tanner Adams.

“The defense is great, we just need a little more flow on the offense,” Vaughn said. “It’s been nice to see improvement.”

Goalies Christie Silber, a senior, and Rebecca Tharpe, a junior, are still competing for the permanent starting spot.

“By the time league gets here,” Vaughn said, “I think we’ll play great soccer.”

MOORPARK MUSKETEERS

Moorpark leaned on its stout defense while capturing the league title the past two seasons.

The Musketeer defense will look different this winter.

Moorpark (2-0 overall) welcomed talented freshman defenders Jalynne Magaña and Ginger Fontenot, the younger sister of junior forward Teresa Fontenot. The rookies join seniors Sadie Lutz and junior Taylie Liddell in the starting lineup.

“The girls on the back line all have the mentality that they want to win,” Moorpark head coach Mike Alexander said. “They do whatever it takes to make sure the other team doesn’t score.”

It’ll be tough for league foes to slip strikes past Courtney Worstell, returning senior starter at goalie. Felicia Neatherlin, a sophomore, will also see time in the net.

Sarah Hernandez, a junior, and sophomores Jessica Rodriguez and Kristen Szczepanek are dynamic midfielders. Valerie Tobias, a freshman who helped the cross country team reach the state meet in Fresno a few weeks ago, is a midfielder to watch.

Seniors Jordyn Geller and Hannah Rowlands power the Musketeer offense.

Moorpark plays Rio Mesa at 5 tonight on the road.

“We’re excited about the challenges ahead,” Alexander said. “The team’s looking to three-peat this year. We’re also eager to see how we do in Division 2 this year.

“If we don’t finish in the top-three in league, we won’t go to CIF (playoffs). That’s a challenge we’re excited to face.”

CAMARILLO SCORPIONS

Camarillo’s taking its lumps early, just like first-year head coach Charles Fiacco expected.

“I tried to schedule a tough set of non-league games so we can be ready for the Coastal Canyon League,” the coach said. “There isn’t an easy game on our schedule.”

The Scorpions’ (2-2 overall) two losses came against two of the Marmonte League’s top teams, Oaks Christian and Newbury Park.

Camarillo faces Oxnard at 5 p.m. today at home.

Fiacco’s team revolves around its nucleus of senior captains Annika DeGenna, Kaitlyn Lieberson and Daniella Helsdon in the midfield.

Youngsters roam the back line. Mia Nagel, a junior defender, joins sophomores Alejandra Gonzalez, Camille Pendergast and freshman Kailey Monahan on the back line.

Jordan Centineo, a junior forward, is the Scorpions’ top offensive threat.

“She’s very gifted,” Fiacco said of Centineo. “She can use both feet equally well. She also has power and speed. She’s the whole package. She’ll be a Division I player.”

Kate Chickasawa, a freshman, is a forward to watch.

“We have to stay as healthy as we can and we have to perform with as much effort as we can,” Fiacco said. “If we can do that, we’ll be in every game. Consistency and effort will keep us in all the games.”

OAK PARK EAGLES

Oak Park is going through a youth movement.

Four of the seven freshmen on the roster have earned starting spots.

“They add a lot of strength to the program,” Eagles head coach Mark Zeolla said. “We’re young but we’re strong.”

Oak Park started the season 2-1 overall.

The Eagles’ defense, led by senior captains Liliana Fendler and Paige Harrington, is sturdy.

Allyson Spooner is a senior captain and midfielder. Abigail Dermott, a freshman, also patrols the midfield.

Carolyn Quandt, a sophomore, and Sophia Druian, a freshman, combined for six goals in the team’s first three outings.

Oak Park competes at 10 a.m. Saturday against El Camino Real at Sierra Canyon.

“We’re building on the chemistry right now,” the coach said. “This year, we want to fall in the top-three (in league). We feel really confident we’re going to be fine.”

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