Watsonville High’s Jonathan Rocha chases the ball during the Wildcatz’s game against Pajaro Valley last month at Emmett Geiser Field at Watsonville High. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)
Several Santa Cruz County soccer teams will get to continue their season as they were seeded into the Central Coast Section tournament this past weekend.
The journey begins Wednesday for the majority of the teams.
Defending Division I champion Watsonville will have to go on the road for the whole tournament if it wants to win a 10th title. The Wildcatz will start competition Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Sequoia.
It’ll be a battle of second-place teams. Watsonville (12-6-2) finished second in the ultra-tough Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division. Sequoia (12-5-3) was the runner-up to Carlmont of Belmont in the Peninsula Athletic League’s Bay Division.
Watsonville, the 11th seed, will go for its first win away from Emmett Geiser Field since the second weekend of January, when they went to the Hawaii and defeated Moanalua and Mililani.
Another No. 11 seed from town is Pajaro Valley, who will try their hand in the Division II tournament. The Grizzlies (10-6-3) are back in the postseason after a year in which they narrowly were denied.
The Grizzlies take on Lincoln of San Jose at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Lincoln was eliminated by Watsonville in last year’s tournament.
Pajaro Valley will also have to go on the road if it wants to win its second CCS title. The winner will take on St. Francis of Mountain View on Saturday at a time and place to be determined. Looming down the line is Mount Pleasant and top-seeded Mitty.
Several local teams grace the Division III tournament. North Monterey County, trying to get back to the finals for a second consecutive year, starts its quest at home on Wednesday against Greenfield. The Condors (9-8-3) used a second-half rally to barrel their way into the postseason as the No. 6 seed.
The Bruins defeated Gonzales on the final day of the regular season to effectively deny the Spartans a trip to the postseason. They finished third in the Mission Trail Athletic League.
The winner faces Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League champion Harbor on Saturday. Harbor gained the third seed.
Santa Cruz, which stunned Soquel on the final day of the regular season to finish in second in the SCCAL, will travel to San Mateo on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. game against the No. 4 seed.
Santa Cruz (10-10) is the No. 13 seed. The Cardinals were eliminated by North Monterey County in last year’s semifinals.
On the girls side, Aptos returns to the postseason with hopes of claiming the Division II championship. The seventh-seeded Mariners (8-4-6) will play host to Valley Christian of San Jose (15-4-3) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Aptos goes into the tournament having not lost in the calendar year. Overall, the Mariners are going in on an 11-game unbeaten streak. They’ve won four of their last give, allowing two goals in that span.
Valley Christian, members of the West Catholic Athletic League, finished 7-4-1 in the league, tied for third. The Warriors finished runner-up to Mitty in the WCAL tournament finals.
In the Division III girls tournament, two county teams will meet in the first round, while another county team is once again the top seed. And it’s guaranteed that at least one county team will get to the semifinals.
Santa Cruz (12-2-5) gained the No. 1 designation and won’t have to play until Saturday when it faces Live Oak of Morgan Hill or Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton.
Soquel is the No. 3 seed and will wait until Saturday to play. They won’t have to go far to find out who they’re playing. Soquel High will be the site of a first-round battle between sixth-seeded Harbor (6-6-6) and 11th seeded Pacific Collegiate (9-4-2). The Pirates and Pumas will square off at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Scotts Valley (9-6-5) is the No. 4 seed and will travel to Aptos to face The King’s Academy of San Jose. The winner faces either MTAL champion Santa Catalina or 12th seeded Woodside Priory.
For the complete article see the 02-19-2013 issue.
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