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Boy's Soccer: Cristian Ruiz named the SCCAL's Player of the Year

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 12th, 2014

Aptos Mariners midfielder Cristian Ruiz, left, was voted the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League’s Player of the Year for his role in helping the Mariners to their first league title since 1983. Ruiz finished the season with 13 goals and 15 assists. Tony Nunez/Register-Pajaronian

APTOS — The Mariners can add a few more accomplishments to their season.

Aptos High midfielder Cristian Ruiz was named the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Player of the Year, Matt Murrer was selected as one of the Defenders of the Year and Roberto Zuniga was awarded the Coach of the Year.

All three of them helped Aptos to their first SCCAL title since 1983, and led them to the semifinals of the Central Coast Section Division-III playoffs.

It was the deepest run in the CCS postseason since 2001 when the Mariners made it to the D-I championship game.

“It’s been quite a ride,” Zuniga said. “Taking over the team, I knew we needed some cohesiveness and this team really came together after a rough start.”

Aptos started their season with three straight losses, all three coming by three goals or more, however, the Mariners recovered with three consecutive wins, and went on to win the league title.

“These kids felt like there was a shift that was going on this year,” Zuniga said.

At the heart of the turnaround was Ruiz. The senior finished the year with 13 goals and 15 assists according to Zuniga.

“He was such a team player,” said the coach. “He’s very intelligent and he controlled the entire middle of the field. His intensity, skill level and control were all very high.”

For the complete article see the 03-13-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-13-2014 paper.

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Keywords: aptos mariners soccer high st. francis sharks cristian ruiz aidan daily matt murrer roberto zuniga rj zuniga

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