SSU soccer: CCAA tournament up next for men and women

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma State enters the CCAA men’s soccer tournament as the hottest team and faces the best in the West Region.

Unbeaten in the final eight regular-season games, Sonoma State won the CCAA North Division.

Now the Seawolves get Cal State Los Angeles in one Friday semifinal of the CCAA tournament. UC San Diego and Chico State face off in the other men’s semifinal. The title contest is Sunday.

The tournament is being played in Turlock. Sonoma State’s game time is 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The field is stacked with all but Sonoma State ranked nationally. Cal State Los Angeles is No. 11, UC San Diego is No.16 and Chico State is No. 24.

But the Seawolves like their chances, having played some of their best soccer of the season. Sonoma State is appearing in the CCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.

Leading the Seawolves is Taylor Varnadore, out of Analy. The senior is third in the conference inboth goals and points.

“We have quite a few players playing their best now and we are peaking as a team at the right part of the season,” coach Marcus Ziemer said.

SSU WOMEN SEEK CCAA TITLE

Tuning up for a likely NCAA playoff berth, Sonoma State’s women are back in the conference soccer tournament.

Sonoma State is the second seed and faces Cal State San Bernardino 4:30 p.m. Friday at Turlock. Top seed Cal State Stanislaus plays Cal State Los Angeles in the other women’s semifinal. The California Collegiate Athletic Association finals are Sunday.

A year ago, Sonoma State lost on penalty kicks in the championship match to UC San Diego. Sonoma State went on to host opening-round matches in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer West Regional, the Seawolves’ first appearance since 2000. Sonoma State fell to Western Washington.

Sonoma State is expected to get another NCAA invitation with a No. 18 national ranking. Cal State Stanislaus is No. 5 in the nation.

Pacing the Seawolves are twins Cara and Lauren Curtin, from Maria Carrillo. Cara Curtin is second in goals and fifth in total points among CCAA leaders. Lauren Curtin shares the conference lead in assists and is second in total points.

Goalkeeper Allison Hadidian, from San Jose, is among conference leaders yielding less than a goal per match.

 

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