17 02 2012

The Peninsula Athletic League wrapped up play last night. And with the way my winter schedule lined up, I became the unofficial voice of girls’ soccer at the Daily Journal. That’s to say, I watched a lot of it. Here’s the skinny on what you need to know, just like, right out of the gate.

DIVISION WINNERS: CARLMONT AND HILLSDALE. That was easy. CARLMONT started believing they could overtake pre-season favorite Aragon when they beat them the first time on their home soil. They then translated that into one of those runs where, you ride a very good, very disciplined defense, and rely on a red-hot offensive player to muster the bulk of the load. In the Scots case it was Soha Said a freshman. Boom, the girl scores twice against the Dons last Tuesday and then once again on Thursday to push the Scots ahead of Burlingame. HILLSDALE, on the other hand, ran the table and aside from a slip-up that cost them a pair of points, the Knights were pretty much unblemished. What do the teams have in common? Style — both play a possession style of football, building momentum from the back and getting the bulk of their scoring chances through the middle of the field. Gosh, it’s pretty to watch.

Here are some other thoughts that are circling in my brain as the girls’ soccer world awaits the CCS announcements. I think a lot. Apparently.

• I’m debating whether to put together a Daily Journal Girls’ Soccer Team. A couple of weeks ago I started jotting down during games possible alignments and players that I felt stood out. This won’t be an easy task, mainly because there are a lot of really talented players out there — yet, they’re the kind of players that don’t necessarily fit into the July! system. The team is completely subjective, based totally on a style of football that I like played and not the 11 Best Players in the Area. Just a quick sample of my notes from a couple of weeks ago while walking the track at San Mateo:

Can you tell I’m leaning towards a 4-3-3? I’m a Barcelona guy, what can I tell ya? No, really, the truth is there are a lot more talented midfielders and wing players than pure strikers. A 4-3-3 allows the 3 mids to attack or feed to the two winged forwards who can crash towards goal or split wide and send a cross in. Which leads me to my next point.

• One of the biggest things I was looking forward to this season (no pun intended) was watching who the newest breed of strikers would be. The Peninsula lost a slew of tremendous girls who had a true nose for the goal. Woodside, San Mateo, Sacred Heart Prep, Mills, all had to adjust to the loss of a bulk of their scoring. And I was right. With the exception of Menlo-Atherton, the county was at a loss for true goal scorers. That doesn’t mean however that the level of play took a dip. In fact, dare I say it, I felt it was better. A lot more chess matches on the field in 2012. I’ll take a well-played 2-1 game over a 4-3, Cheap-goal-City game any day of the week.

• So, who HAS to make the All-DJ Team? I’m going to give you three names, who are also my front runners for our DJ Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.

•• One, Jennifer Kirst of Menlo-Atherton, who would win the Comeback Player of the Year Award if we had one in a landslide. She got the bulk of her goals at the start of year AND THEN defenses started realizing she’s the real deal. Guess what? The girl kept scoring.
•• Two, Rachel Killigrew of Aragon, who is the biggest bad-ass defender in the league. Near the end of the year, I started noticing coach Colglazier move her from her sweeper position (where the girl kills) to a more defensive midfielder role (where the girl killed). She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s a leader.
•• Three, Carly Richardson of Carlmont, who is the heart of arguably the best defensive team, 1-thru-11, in the county. And given that the Scots just rode that defensive pony to the Bay Division title, it would be a disservice to not include her in the conversation. No. 2 can play some serious soccer.

• My only hesitation for not fielding an All-DJ team is parents/uncles/guardians who might feel slated by the big, bad Daily Journal for not including their kid. It’s here that I point out one very important thing: The PAL has 16 teams, add to that Notre Dame-Belmont, Crystal Springs Uplands, Mercy-Burlingame, Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep. Now, I’m a writer, not a mathematician but, that’s 21 teams, times an average roster of 18 girls — 21 x 18 = 378 girls (at least). Guess what? I’m only taking 18. 11 starters, 2 subs at DF, MF and FW and an extra keeper. I’m going to piss some people off.

• Last thought before I head to the DJ offices: GOAL OF THE YEAR. Mmm hmm, I’ve been watching. Three stood out. Here are you leaders in the clubhouse.

•• One, Lexie Rogers of Aragon with a 35-yard, dead-ball stunner in a game against Woodside. Wow.
•• Two, Lily Discher of Sequoia, who bent a dead-ball from 30 yards out against Hillsdale in the game’s final minute. Marvelous.
•• Three, Layla Coleman of Hillsdale, who volleyed in a cross from Aleja Cretcher in a game against Sequoia that all but locked up the Ocean Division for the Knights — prompting her own head coach to ask, “Am I watching a girls’ high school soccer match?” I was thinking something similar.

All fun fun goals. Or in the words of my boy Ian Darke:




2 responses

17 02 2012

Uncle Julio,

I just LOVE, LOVE soccer. That was a fun article to read. Thanks for the entertainment – you do your job well. Yours is the only blog I’ve ever read and I will keep on readin’ it until you stop writin’ (or kick me off your subscriber list).

I just don’t get the whole hispanic music craze of yours 🙂

17 02 2012

Mrs. T. Don’t offend me. Next time I see you, I’ll have to slip you one of my patented Rock en Español CDs and make you fall in love with the genre 🙂

Thanks for reading. Oh, and congratulate Little Turtletaub on his Bay Division title. Color me impressed! I don’t think anyone saw that one coming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: