NCS boys soccer: Vikings, Tigers gain top seeds

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Montgomery, winner of the North Bay League, and Analy, the champion of the Sonoma County League, on Sunday received the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds respectively in Division I for the North Coast Section boys soccer tournament.

Montgomery's Cody Diklich, center goes up for the ball between Cardinal Newman's James Nead, left, and James Burton, right, during the game held at Cardinal Newman High School, Sept. 28, 2010. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / PD)

Brackets for all three boys divisions were released by NCS officials. First round games will be played on Wednesday with the quarterfinals on Saturday. The semis will be decided Nov. 10 with the championship game in each division on Nov. 13.

No. 1 Montgomery, with a 15-2-5 mark, opens at home against No. 16 Rancho Cotate (10-10-1). Game time is 7 p.m. The two met twice during the NBL season with the Vikings winning 2-1 at Rancho and 4-2 at home.

Analy’s Tigers (19-2-3) will host Arcata (16-6-1) from the Humboldt Del Norte League. That game also starts at 7 p.m.

Other teams from the Redwood Empire in the Div. I draw are: No. 4 Maria Carrillo (12-4-5) hosting No. 12 Sonoma Valley (13-5-3), No. 7 Windsor (14-4-1) entertaining No. 10 Elsie Allen (7-8-7) and No. 6 Ukiah (10-5-0) going to No. 11 Cardinal Newman (9-7-6).

Pedro Merino, coach of Sonoma Valley, was not happy when he learned where his team was seeded.

“I am incredibly disappointed,” he said. “I thought we’d be the No. 3 or 4 seed. I’d like to know the committee’s thinking. We finished near the top of our league and that’s the portion of the season we stressed.

“In the games before league started, we did a lot of experimenting with different players because we wanted to have our best players on the field when it counted. Apparently, the committee penalized us for some losses in the preseason.”

Merino said the Dragons tied Carrillo in the Bay City Invitational three months ago.

Sergio Lopez, coach at Elsie Allen, expected the Lobos to get an invite despite their losing record.

“We played a tough schedule and had seven tie games,” he pointed out. “I was confident we’d get a seed. We’ve got a chance, that’s all we wanted.”

Windsor beat Elsie Allen, 5-2, on Sept. 1.

“That was preseason and I was experimenting,” Lopez said. “We have a good idea on how to play Windsor on Wednesday.”

At No. 3, Roseland University Prep (19-1-2) is the highest-seed of six Empire teams in Div. II. The Knights host Gateway (15-4-0) of the Bay Counties League-Central) at Elsie Allen.

Other area teams in the Div. II bracket are: No. 7 Calistoga (18-3-1) hosting S.F. University (7-10-7), No. 8 Cloverdale (14-2-1) entertaining International (17-2-1), No. 11 Fort Bragg (17-5-2) hosting Stuart Hill (9-4-3), No. 12 Willits (15-5-2) at home vs. Branson (7-9-5) and No. 13 St. Vincent (12-3-3) traveling to Head-Royce (16-2-0).

All Div. II games with Empire teams start at 7 p.m., with the exception of St. Vincent vs. Head-Royce at 7:30 p.m.

The top seed is Marin Academy (16-2-1) followed by Justin-Siena (11-6-4).

There are 12 teams in Div. III and five of those, including No. 1 Anderson Valley, are from the Empire. The Panthers (16-3-4) received a bye and will host a game on Saturday.
No. 2 Point Arena (11-6-0) also received a bye and will swing into action on Saturday. The same is true for No. 3 Rincon Valley Christian (12-9-0).

No. 6 Sonoma Academy (10-13) will host Contra Costa Christian (9-7-3) in a first round game while No. 7 Archbishop Hanna (16-2-1) travels to Fremont Christian (14-3-3).
The Sonoma Academy game begins at 2:30 p.m. with Hanna-Fremont Christian starting at 7 p.m.