PD Preps Insider: Soccer coaches keep it dashing on the sideline

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Santa Rosa boys soccer coaches cut dapper figures on the sideline during Saturday’s loss to Montgomery in a North Coast Section Division 1 playoff game. Everyone on the staff wore black slacks, long-sleeved orange shirts and thin black ties.

The attire might not have helped the Panthers on the field, but it was indicative of the professionalism head coach Antonio Garcia has brought to the program. Montgomery coach Jon Schwan isn’t a bit surprised.

“Antonio is a wonderful coach and a wonderful human being,” Schwan said.

He should know. The two have coached together for several years at the club level, and both are Montgomery grads; Schwan preceded Garcia in school by a few years. When the Monty boys job opened up three years ago, the school strongly considered Garcia for the job. Instead, it went to Schwan and Garcia wound up replacing him at Santa Rosa.

Heavy favorites in Boonville

The NCS volleyball playoffs start tonight and the surest bet is that Anderson Valley will bring home its fourth consecutive championship banner in Division 6. The Boonville school is the top seed and already owns wins over No. 2 Rincon Valley Christian and No. 3 Mendocino.

“This team is similar in a lot of ways to the last three,” coach Mike McDonald said. “We don’t have a lot of height, so we rely on good defensive play along with being scrappy and consistent.”

Setter Stephanie Garcia is the quarterback of the team while Heather Teague is the Panthers’ defensive specialist.

Anderson Valley received a first-round bye and will swing into action Saturday against the winner of tonight’s match between No. 8 El Sobrante Christian and No. 9 Contra Costa Christian.

Familiarity in final four

Empire small-school girls’ soccer powers are back in the final four.

Defending champion Middletown, Sonoma Academy and St. Vincent have won the past seven North Coast Section small-school girls soccer titles.

Sonoma Academy is the top seed in Division 3 and hosts St. Vincent in a semifinal today. The teams are rivals in the NCL I with Sonoma Academy winning both regular-season matches.

Cloverdale is at second-seed Middletown today. The teams are familiar foes in the NCL I with Middletown winning two of three against Cloverdale this season.

Carrillo girls ranked fourth in soccer standings

The Maria Carrillo girls soccer team enters the week ranked fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America U.S. ratings. Exeter, N.H. is No. 1 and joins the Pumas as one of eight unbeaten teams in the country.

Carrillo is ranked No. 1 in Region VI (the West region), ahead of Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, Nev.

Montgomery’s girls are rated seventh in Region VI.

Pumas’ JV girls dominate

Local running fans are long accustomed to Maria Carrillo teams dominating the cross country season, but the Pumas’ depth can be staggering sometimes. Take last Friday’s North Bay League XC championship at Spring Lake. Sure, Carrillo took first place in the team points in all four races — boys and girls, varsity and JV.

Look more closely at the girls JV race, and you’ll see that 21 of the top 23 finishers were Pumas runners. The top Maria Carrillo JV girls finisher, Sophia Mahoney, clocked 20:14 on the 4,989-meter course. That would have made her the top runner for three varsity teams that day — Rancho Cotate, Ukiah and Cardinal Newman.

The Press Democrat’s Phil Barber, Michael Coit, Ted Sillanpaa, and Press Democrat correspondent Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

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