Turlock High's varsity girls’ soccer has dominated the Central California Conference over the past three seasons, having won three consecutive league titles during the streak, but this year might be different.
Head coach Cathi Schali-Lopez and assistant Temo Arteaga have seen so much success with a large number of experienced players over the past three seasons, however this time they welcome a herd of newcomers to the varsity level from all grade levels.
After tryouts were over last week, Schali-Lopez brought in a total of 10 freshmen to the team, boasting one of the youngest squads in the area, and in the CCC.
“There is great dynamics right now, just looking to see who will play where since we are so young and still fresh in our season,” said Schali-Lopez. “We lost a lot of players; it is potentially a rebuilding year because we are going to have such a young team.”
Over the past three seasons, Turlock has amassed a winning record of 30-9-6 in the CCC.
“We will have a very young team and I know the CCC is a challenge so we will take one game at a time,” said Schali-Lopez.
Although the 10 freshmen remain unnamed, there is a strong possibility that eight of them could be starting for Turlock said Schali-Lopez.
“Our freshmen have shown potential to play at the varsity level already so we see a lot of potential in these girls and hopefully empower them to do and be the best they can on the field,” she said.
Jadyn Tubbs, a volleyball standout who has already verbally committed to University of Pacific on a volleyball scholarship, will also be joining the Bulldogs as the team's goalkeeper and should provide some stability, considering she has a history of playing the position.
“Right now the only set position is at goalie with Jadyn, since we had to fill the void of losing the best goalie in the CCC,” said Schali-Lopez who lost Caitlyn Duval after last year. “Jadyn is a great athlete and she didn't come out last season but we expect great things from her, she has a crazy vertical.”
Aside from Tubbs and her ability to leap as high as any goalkeepers in the CCC, Turlock will be welcoming back four seniors on the squad including Sueheidy Deleon Martinez, Veronica Hernandez and Meghan Hopkins.
Sophomore Kishauna Mavis, who was one of the best freshmen in the CCC last season, also returns after a great first year at forward and scoring multiple goals for the 'Dogs just a year ago.
Junior Sophie Warda will provide some stability after starting since her freshman year but might possibly switch positions due to the incoming depth at all positions.
With the addition of 10 freshmen and four seniors will be six juniors and six sophomores, a very balanced number of players all around but coach Schali-Lopez expects that the biggest void to fill will be the defensive back-line.
“You have to develop your philosophy out on the field with these new players because it’s all new for them. It will be fun and challenging at the same time,” said Schali-Lopez. “We will be developing our defensive line and midfield that is for sure with our new players.
“We are just looking for that team unity on the field and putting some balls in the back of the net for goals,” Schali-Lopez added. “The CCC is always a challenge, it is a top performing league in our Valley so our goal is one game at a time.”
The first game for Turlock will be a preseason match with Oakdale on the road at 4 p.m. Monday.