Let the women's quarterfinals begin!

Debra LaPrath is hoping her Maria Carrillo women’s soccer team used its last date with Ursuline as a wake-up call.

John Gilson knows his Ursuline team is aware that “anything can happen in the NCS playoffs” and that Carrillo will have some “scheme” worked out for this game.

And Ralph Montes is just hoping to be able to field enough players so his No. 4 seed Petaluma Trojans can make a run at No. 5 Santa Rosa.

The North Coast Section Girls’ 3A playoffs are just about 24 hours away and the quarterfinal round contests just might provide some surprises.

Eureka will play at Casa Grande, Petaluma will entertain Santa Rosa, Windsor will be at Montgomery and Ursuline travels to Maria Carrillo in the only 5 p.m. contest. The other three games start at 7 p.m.

Petaluma is just hoping it can get past the Panthers and force a season rubber match in the semifinals against Casa Grande, assuming the Gauchos (No. 1 seed) can beat No. 8 seed Eureka.

“We have six starters who either are sick or have cold symptoms and we have only practiced twice this week,” Montes said. “And we have lost maybe our best player in Natalee Simon. She has already said she is going to Arizona State and play next year.”

So. with Simon out with a leg injury, things won’t get any easier for the Trojans against the Panthers.

“Nicole (Miller, SR head coach) has a way of inspiring that team, so I know they will be ready to play,” Montes said. “But it is supposed to rain on Saturday and playing on grass just might help us. I know that Santa Rosa plays on artificial turf and I think they play much better on that than on real grass. So, our field might turn out to be a benefit to us.”

While Casa Grande and Montgomery should be heavy favorites in their games, and a lot of eyes will be on the Petaluma/Santa Rosa matchup, the contest at Carrillo just might be the most evenly contested despite the regular season results.

The Bears won the first game 3-1 at Carrillo, and then triumphed 5-1 at Ursuline.

“I think that game (5-1 defeat) was certainly a wakeup call for us,” LaPrath said. “We started shifting our focus after that game and took things a lot more seriously. We’ve had a very good week of practice.”

The Pumas’ roster has been decimated by injuries this season. LaPrath has lost Courtney Minton, Adrienne Borders, Renee Berceron, Yvonne Metz and starting goalie Emily Sellner.

“But their (Carrillo) backup goalie (Rianna Barton) has been playing very well for them,” Gilson said. “This is truly a separate season and you have to reign in the emotions when the playoffs start. Carrillo will be playing on their home field, under lights for the first time in a playoff game and you just never know about these games.”

Semifinals will be played Nov. 12 with the finals set for Nov. 15.

Here are how the local playoff teams ended their seasons: Casa Grande, 8 wins; Petaluma, 3 wins; Santa Rosa, lost 2 of its last 3 games; Montgomery, 5 wins; Windsor, 1 playoff win; Maria Carrillo, 6 wins; Ursuline, 3 wins.

Final North Bay League and Sonoma County League women’s standings:


Team league overall

Montgomery 13-1 17-3
Santa Rosa 10-4 14-5
Maria Carrillo 11-3 15-5
Ursuline 10-4 10-6
Rancho Cotate 6-8 10-9-2
Ukiah 2-11-1 2-11-1
Piner 2-11-1 2-14-2
Elsie Allen 1-13 1-13


Team league overall

Casa Grande 11-1 16-1
Petaluma 10-2 13-5
Windsor 8-4 9-7
Sonoma Valley 7-5 11-7-1
Analy 3-9 7-9-1
El Molino 3-9 4-12
Healdsburg 0-12 1-16-1