Women’s Soccer: The greatest season in Valley’s history ended on Friday and now it is time to review and look forward to next season.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
The Lady Monarchs are entering the off-season after enjoying a historical season going 12-7-2. However, with the campaign now over Head Coach Greg Venger has to turn his attention to 2015 and make the playoffs for the first time in Valley’s history.
Valley ended the season in fourth place in the Western State Conference South Division, 25th in the Southern California region, and 41st in the entire state. Not to mention the team finished with an impressive positive 27 goal differential, while sophomore goalkeeper Athena Del Rosario broke the school record of five shutouts in season, as she we would finish with 10.
The Lady Monarchs started the season 5-1 and they were outscoring opponents by 19 to two. The growth from last season was as obvious as the sun; they took care of business against teams that they were supposed to. Valley went 12-0-1 against team ranked lower than them, demolishing them by scoring 45 goals and only allowing three in the process.
Sounds great, but the catch is to make the playoffs and with the complex power point system the Lady Monarchs had to get positive results against higher ranked teams.
“Those non-conference games are so important,” said Venger. “I think that these girls might have taken them a little bit for granted. The Pierce [College] and the Santa Barbara [College], those two in particular are such big games, that we did not realize how important those games were for the power point systems. Because essentially victories against West LA [West Los Angeles College] and Glendale [Community College] do not mean anything, so since we have four conference games that do not matter, we have to take care of non-conference games.”
College’s ranked 20th and higher in the Southern Calif. region, is where the Lady Monarchs growing pains were exposed. They would fail to win a match against those teams, as Valley went a disappointing 0-7-1 and they were out scored six to 19.
The clear reason for this issue was the simple fact that there was no true forward on the roster. There were plenty of attacking midfielder, but there was never a player constantly crashing the box when crosses were being whipped in from the sides.
Yes Calderon, Miriam Ramirez and Elizabeth Saavedra combined for 31 of Valley’s 49 goals this season, but none of them lived in the penalty box as a true number “9” forward does. The three attacking midfielder usually would find themselves in the midfield when the attack started. If this team would have had a forward, then freshman midfielder Shayna Lewis would have finished with more than the 11 assists this season.
However, finding forwards to crash the box will be another position on the list for the coaching staff to scout. Sophomore’s Charlene Parrales, Guadalupe Ramos, Monica Roldan, Amy Van Leeuween, Del Rosario, freshmen Lewis, and freshmen Calderon will not be returning to Monarch Stadium next fall.
“We are going to need to find a goalkeeper, that’s for sure” said Venger. “We only returned four from last season, so we obviously recruited like crazy and we brought in some very talented players in the process.”
He would continue, “A lot of them are going to return to next season, however, Adriana [Calderon] and Shayna [Lewis] will not be returning. So there are six that we are losing that are significant, but we are bringing back a nice core with Liz [Elizabeth Saavedra], Jasmine [Schevitt] and Miriam [Ramirez]. So now it is just balancing and finding the right players, we do already have early commitments, but since this is a junior college you can’t truly know who is coming. But at the same time it is nice that we already have commitments so we can just follow and make sure that they stay committed to us.”
The Lady Monarchs can celebrate this historic season for now. However, there is still a lot of work ahead of them to make sure that next season the program continues to head towards the right direction.
“The coaches are on top of it,” said Roldan. “I honestly think Valley is going to be better next season.”