Women’s soccer: SSU hits road for NCAA tournament

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Returning to the NCAA tournament, Sonoma State’s women must win on the road to keep their soccer season alive.
Sonoma State plays Seattle Pacific in Bellingham, Wash., 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner advances to face host Western Washington on Saturday.

The Seawolves (13-4-3) are seeded third in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament West Region.
Sonoma State looks to improve on last year’s showing when the Seawolves fell to Western Washington at home. This season Sonoma State is ranked No. 17 in the nation. Western Washington is No. 9.

Sonoma State enters the tournament after losing the CCAA tournament championship to Cal State Stanislaus, the No. 5 team in the nation.

“The CCAA is just a complete firehouse of competition, but we feel that makes us better as a team and a soccer program. We enjoy it,” said Sonoma State coach Emiria Salzmann Dunn.

Pacing the Seawolves are twins Cara and Lauren Curtin, from Maria Carrillo. Cara Curtin tied for third in the conference for goals. Lauren Curtin tied for second in both assists and total points.

Other top starters include defender J.J. McFarlin, from Santa Rosa high, midfielder Margi Osmundson, Casa Grande high, midfielder Taylor Enzler, Ursuline high, defender Lauren Fryer, from San Clemente, defender Shayla Mellenthin, from San Ramon, defender Carolyn Greco, from Fullerton, defender Kristal Luna, from Fremont, and forward Alicia Mertz, from Sandpoint, Idaho.

“Tactically, we happen to score a lot of goals. We are productive and have a strict and strong defensive effort,” Salzmann Dunn said.

“There is an incredible team spirit and a selfless desire from players to see their teammates succeed.”

Sonoma State is making the program’s 11th trip to the NCAA tournament.

The Seawolves have reached the national championship game three times, winning the title in 1990.

SSU PLACES 4 ON CCAA TEAM

Sonoma State placed four players on the CCAA Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team.

Leading the Seawolves contingent is CCAA Newcomer of the Year Lauren Curtin, who missed last season due to injury. Cara Curtin also made the first team.

Joining the Curtins on the first team is defender Lauren Fryer, from San Clemente. Seawolves defender Kristal Luna, from Fremont, was named CCAA Honorable Mention.

The CCAA Second Team included a pair of former All-Empire prep players. Elizet Ceja, from Sonoma Valley, is a junior midfielder at San Francisco State. Karli Nestler, from Santa Rosa, is a junior defender at Cal State Stanislaus.

SSU MEN AMONG CONFERENCE BEST

Capping a great career for Sonoma State men’s soccer, Taylor Varnadore was named CCAA Offensive Player of the Year.
The senior from Analy tied for second in the conference for goals and tied for third in total points.

Varnadore accounted for nearly half of Sonoma State’s offense on the season.

Also earning conference honors were midfielder Nico Spann, from Montgomery, and midfielder Aaron Glover, from Ventura. The pair made CCAA Honorable Mention.

Named to the CCAA Second Team was Christian Reyes, a former Santa Rosa and SRJC standout.  Reyes is a defender for Cal State Los Angeles.

Ranked fifth in the nation, Cal State Los Angeles is the top seed in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament West Region.

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