THE RACE IS ON Healdsburg's Diego Rodriguez (6) fights for ball control during the Dec. 20 game with Kelseyville, which Healdsburg won 7-0. (Michael Lucid photo)

Both of Healdsburg High’s soccer teams, boys and girls, are well into the North Bay Redwood league season which continues throughout January into the first week of February.

The boys kicked off league play with a Jan. 9 away game against Santa Rosa, which coach Herbert Lemus described as an evenly played match between both teams. The score told the same story—the game ended in a scoreless tie.

“Healdsburg had some good shots on goal, but the Santa Rosa goalkeeper did a pretty good job making the saves,” Lemus said.

Two days later, on Jan. 11, the Greyhound boys faced Ukiah’s always-strong team at Healdsburg High. They came up on the short end of a 3-1 final score, but it was not without some drama.

The Ukiah Wildcats only had one opportunity for a shot in the first half, but they made it count and the half ended 1-0 in their favor.

ACTION Healdsburg’s senior Edwin Vasquez (10) begins a drive downfield during the Dec. 20 game against Kelseyville. Healdsburg won, 7-0, and and Vasquez scored three goals. (Photo by Michael Lucid).

The game opened up in the second half, with both teams scoring—first Ukiah 10 minutes into the half, then 12 minutes later Healdsburg’s senior forward Humberto Avalos scored with a header after getting a cross from junior midfielder Anthony Guzman, to make it 2-1.

Ukiah scored again in the 30th minute, making it 3-1, but  excitement followed when Healdsburg apparently closed the gap to 3-2 a couple of minutes later. Unfortunately, the goal was called back due to an offside position by a Healdsburg player, to the alternate enthusiasm and disappointment of the University Street field fans.

“Ukiah definitely had the score on their side, but Healdsburg played them well throughout the game,” reported Lemus. “We knew the game would not be easy. On paper, Ukiah is the team to beat in league play.”

It was Ukiah’s first league win, though their record is 7-1-3 to this point in the year. Healdsburg stands at 0-1-1 in the league, 3-6-1 overall.

Their next game is Jan. 18 at Analy, followed on Jan. 24 at home against Elsie Allen and two days later against Santa Rosa, again in Healdsburg.

“I would have to say that Healdsburg needs to improve in the attacking third in order to give themselves a chance to win some games,” Lemus said.  

Girls Soccer

The Greyhound Girls “football” team is having a hard time scoring, having made only 10 goals in the first eight games. Their record is 3-3-2 overall, though one of their “wins” was a forfeit in the Dec. 5 date against St. Vincent.

The high point of their season thus far is the 4-0 win over Roseland University Prep more than a month ago, on Dec. 7. Their 2-1 win over neighboring Cloverdale a week later was another highlight.

But in 2024, they have lost twice in league matchups without making a goal, falling 7-0 against Ukiah on Jan. 10 and 5-0 two days later against Rancho Cotate. Their next four league games are all away, at Elsie Allen (on Jan. 17), Santa Rosa (Jan. 19), Piner (Jan. 23) and Ukiah (Jan. 25).

Their next home game doesn’t come until Jan. 30, against Rancho Cotate.

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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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