The Turlock High varsity girls soccer team is coming off a Central California Conference win last season and is eyeing the first ever Central California Athletic League crown — but head coach Temo Arteaga knows there is work to do before they get there.
Competing with Pitman, Downey, Modesto, Enochs and Gregori will provide a great test for Turlock. The Bulldogs will rely on their team backbone, senior Daisy Martinez, along with junior Stefanie Zamora, Maureen Clark, Hailie Virden, Paige Rowan, Abby Kline and Autumn Glidden to name a few.
A complete team effort should provide a smooth transition into a new league.
“We are looking forward to the new league and new season. Last year’s playoff run was a little disappointing, but now with a lot of girls coming back as seniors we’re hoping to bring more experience and confidence and a playoff run,” said Arteaga. “But we can’t go there unless we win league and I think this year league will be very competitive.”
Competitive could be an understatement, but it’s what Arteaga is embracing at the moment.
“I think it will be really competitive which will be good for us,” said Arteaga. “It will be competitive games and we will have more experience, having played in those competitive games and girls won’t be so timid when they see those big D-I schools. We are looking forward to it, should be a fun year.”
Turlock is coming off an 11-4-6 season that saw them win their final Central California Conference title with a record of 8-2-2.
This earned them a playoff berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I tournament, but they fell to Folsom in the first round, 4-0.
“My hope is to be in the mix for CCAL,” said Arteaga. “I want to build a team that will compete for first place, if not, then why play right? I tell the girls no position is guaranteed, you have to fight for your position. We saw the competition at tryouts; they are hungry to be that starting 11. Our expectations are to be first or second place and go from there.”
Luckily for Arteaga and the ‘Dogs, their bulk of returners also include sophomore standouts Genesis Maciel and Kayli Wilson.
Returning and coming off an injury is forward standout Megan Drew who was outstanding as a sophomore.
The team is also looking forward to having goalkeeper Maria Gonzalez, said Arteaga.
“From what we saw in tryouts, it just looks like a hard-working group of girls, lot of the girls are hungry and they want to play here,” said Arteaga. “They know what they bring to the table and league, they know Turlock is competitive and everyone is always trying to beat us. Girls come here for that experience. They are hungry; I am hungry. A lot of players returning with a lot of heart and they want to make themselves better. All you can ask for from the returning players so they can set the bar for the rest of the year.”
Turlock will take on Delhi on the road at 3:30 p.m. Monday.