DRIBBLING Healdsburg sophomore Josie Mork takes the ball downfield in the Jan. 17 match with Elsie Allen, which Healdsburg won 8-0. (Photo by Michael Lucid)

The high school soccer season is in its final weeks, rounding out the winter season with a handful of games remaining for both boys and girls teams.

While neither squad can boast a winning record, both deliver exciting games against their North Bay opponents, with home games played under the lights at the Healdsburg High School field on University Street.

With a 5-7-1 record overall, and a 2-2-1 split in the North Bay Redwood league, the boys team sits right in the middle of the five-team league. They’re on a winning streak as January comes to a close, having won two home games in a row.

They won a narrow 1-0 victory over Elsie Allen on Jan. 14, on a goal scored by senior Juan Pablo Patino with an assist from sophomore Andres Madrigal. It was followed on Jan. 24 with a 3-2 win over Santa Rosa. Edwin Vasquez scored two goals and Xavier Garcia one.

Against Santa Rosa, “Healdsburg had to come back from a 2-1 deficit at the half,” said coach Herbert Lemus. “In the first half Healdsburg had a slow start which Santa Rosa was able to capitalize on, but in the second half Healdsburg was able to control the game.” The Greyhounds scored twice to win the game.

Both games were played at home.

This week they end the month with a Jan. 31 road game against league second-place team Ukiah, 10-2-3 on the season, at the Mendocino County school (results too late for press time). The season’s final home game will be a Senior Night against first-place Analy on Feb. 7, followed two nights later with a rematch against Elsie Allen on the road.

Girls Games

The girls team also provides thrilling, close games. Their only league win so far came with a decisive 8-0 romp over Elsie Allen on Jan. 17, also played in Healdsburg. 

In the Elsie Allen game, juniors Maddie Munselle and Julia Dolph both had hat tricks, meaning they scored three goals each. Charley Gordon, a sophomore, scored her first goal of the season but was injured on the play. Several other players suffered injuries as well, depleting their ranks when they must soon face much larger schools in the seven-team girls Redwood league.

OPEN FIELD Junior Geraldine Nunez works the ball during play at Healdsburg High on Jan. 17. The girls team beat Elsie Allen, 8-0. (Photo by Michael Lucid)

The defense is anchored by juniors Lola Hagen and Sophia Saini, senior Virginia Onate and a freshman, Stevie Mitchell.

Unfortunately they lost their next three games, against Santa Rosa, Piner and Ukiah, all on the road. They returned to the University Street field this week with a Jan. 30 game against Rancho Cotate, and after taking the lead 1-0 on a score by Julia Dolph, they 7-1.

“Although it’s a very young team, it’s a great group and they are doing phenomenal under new coach Tomas Morales,” reported Peter Monk, a team parent and board member of Healdsburg Youth Soccer. “Many of these girls were part of the first teams we formed in 2017 when we brought the soccer league back to Healdsburg. It’s been a fun journey.”

The final game of the season is a Feb. 8 rematch against Piner, and as it’s a home game the team’s three seniors will be recognized: Yuridia Hernandez and Yanet Pacheco, as well as Virginia Onate.

But with so many of the younger girls getting significant playing time this year, the coach, parents and fans all hope that next year’s team will be even more competitive.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2012, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.

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