NCS soccer seeding: 11 NBL teams in playoffs

POSTSEASON PRIMER

GIRLS

SUPER SOPHOMORES

Montgomery's Taylor Ziemer will lead the second-seeded Vikings. (Photo by Conner Jay, The Press Democrat)

Montgomery’s Taylor Ziemer will lead the second-seeded Vikings. (Photo by Conner Jay, The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo’s Maddie Gonzalez (20 goals) and Montgomery’s Taylor Ziemer (17 goals).

BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP

No. 8 Windsor vs. No. 9 Rancho Cotate: In league play, the teams tied and the Jaguars won 2-0.

POTENTIAL SURPRISE TEAM

Petaluma: Trojans beat several solid teams during SCL.

LIKELY OUTCOMES

Maria Carrillo shouldn’t have any trouble winning another title.

Sonoma Academy tuned up for title run by defeating Sonoma Valley.

BOYS

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Casa Grande’s Noah Wilson and Analy’s Omar Galvan are both prolific scorers for their teams.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT …

Maria Carrillo midfielder Cesar Farias was in double digits in goals and assists.

BIGGEST SNUB

Analy was 18-2-1 and deserved higher than a No. 7 seed.

SURPRISE TEAM

No. 9 Cardinal Newman comes out of NBL to play in Div. 2.

SMALL SCHOOL DYNASTY

Anderson Valley, top seed in Div.3, going for third title in four years.

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Attesting to the strength of NBL soccer, the North Coast Section selection committee invited a total of 11 girls and boys teams from the league to the playoffs which begin on Wednesday.

At the top of the Division 1 brackets are the Maria Carrillo girls and the Montgomery boys. Both won league titles and the undefeated Pumas are ranked No. 2 in the nation.

As No. 1 seeds, both schools received first round byes and won’t swing into action until Saturday.

The NBL boys teams playing on Wednesday include: No. 4 Casa Grande, No. 6 Maria Carrillo, No. 9 Santa Rosa and No. 10 Rancho Cotate.

On the girls side, those playing on Wednesday are: No. 5 Casa Grande, No. 6 Cardinal Newman, No. 8 Windsor and No. 9 Rancho Cotate. No. 2 seed Montgomery received a bye and won’t play until Saturday.

The seeding committee also showed respect for the Sonoma County League.

Four girls teams were invited: No. 3 Petaluma, No. 4 Analy, No. 12 Sonoma Valley and No. 13 El Molino. The Trojans got an opening round bye and the other three teams play Wednesday.

Four boys teams from the seven school league received bids: No. 7 Analy, No. 8 Sonoma Valley, No. 11 Elsie Allen and No. 14 Petaluma. All play Wednesday.

There are also divisions for smaller schools. In the Div. 3 girls bracket, Sonoma Academy, winner of NCL II, is the top seed.

There are Div. 2 and Div. 3 brackets for the boys based on school size. Marin Academy was given the top spot in Div. 2 while the Redwood Empire’s Anderson Valley is No. 1 in Div. 3.

The Carrillo girls (17-0-1) have won Div. 1 championship the past two years and are a heavy favorite to three-peat.

The Pumas have scored 90 goals in 18 matches and the defense has allowed only 10.

They’ve been devastating the past two weeks, beating three NBL teams by a combined 23-0.

“Those last matches were unreal,” coach Debra LaPrath said. “We’re peaking now.”

The mantra from the coaching staff this week will be to stay relaxed.

“If the girls stay calm, we’ll do just fine,” LaPrath said. “They’ve worked hard to get in this position and we’re prepared.”

Carrillo will face the winner of the first round match between Windsor and Rancho Cotate. The Pumas beat both schools in league play.

Jon Schwan, coach of the Montgomery boys, was relieved when he got his first look at the Div. 1 bracket on Sunday afternoon.

“I wanted that top seed because of the first round bye,” he said. “The bracket came out like I thought it would. There were no surprises.”

The Vikings have won NCS Div. 2 trophies two of the past three years and take a six-game winning streak into Saturday’s game. They will face the winner of the match between Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa.

“We lost to Maria Carrillo in early October and that game was a wake-up call,” Schwan said. “We’ve been a lot more focused since then.”

Montgomery’s record is 16-3-2.

In Div. 2 boys, Marin Academy got the top seed because the Wildcats won the Bay Counties League. Four teams from the Empire are in this bracket: No. 9 Cardinal Newman, No. 10 Roseland Prep, No. 13 Calistoga and No. 15 St. Vincent.

Besides Anderson Valley (17-3-1), eight teams from the Empire made the Div. 3 boys bracket: No. 2 Archbishop Hanna, No. 8 Rincon Valley Christian, No. 10 Sonoma Academy, No. 11 Summerfield Waldorf, No. 12 Geyserville, No. 13 Point Arena, No. 14 Potter Valley and No. 15 Tomales.

Joining Sonoma Academy (18-1) in the Div. 3 girls tournament are: No. 2 Middletown, No. 3 Cloverdale, No. 4 St. Vincent, No. 5 Roseland Prep, No. 6 Clear Lake, No. 7 Calistoga, No. 9 Fort Bragg, No. 10 Rincon Valley Christian and No. 11 St. Helena.

There are four rounds in all divisions with a Wednesday and Saturday format. The champions will be crowned on Nov. 16.

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