Folsom soccer players, coaches earn postseason honors

By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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Five players from the 2012 Division I and Division IV girls? soccer All-League teams are represented by players from Folsom and Vista del Lago high schools. Vista del Lago was unbeaten in 12 games through the Sierra Valley Conference (10-0-2, 15-2-2 overall) as part of the school?s first Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls? soccer title. Folsom (15-1-3) achieved national rankings with an 8-0-2 unbeaten Delta River League run, which ended in the Division I playoffs semifinal round against No.9 nationally-ranked St. Mary?s of Stockton. The five Bulldogs? selections were all seniors ? captains MacKenzie Moreno, Caitlyn Kretzschmar, Jenny Hackelman, Paige Harrison, and winner of her second Player of the Year award, Alyssa Jara. The Eagles? selections were led by youth ? freshman Janae Gonzales, sophomore Brittany Fox, junior MacKenzie Mercier and seniors Daniela Davis and goalkeeper Shandy Nanomantube. In nearly 20 games this season the Bulldogs lost just two games. One of those was to a young, future section champion team from three divisions lower. ?Janae is very inspirational and a hard worker. This year was a great accomplishment for a rebuilding team,? said Vista coach Joe Esfandiary. Esfandiary was selected as the 2012 boys? SVC Coach of the Year in the fall. The girls? team then returned five players from last year, after losing in the second round of playoffs to Sierra. They got revenge on Sierra in the first round this season. Despite the girls? section title, an unbeaten league record and a 20-player roster, which had only one senior, the Eagles did not receive a Coach of the Year or MVP award. All things said and done, the team seemed content with their banner. ?I?m very proud of their accomplishments,? Esfandiary said. ?It was all their hard work and they got paid back for it.? Offense for the Bulldogs was focused through Jara, future Creighton University player, but team team?s defense allowed more one goal just twice all season. Again, one of those games was the Crosstown Cup against Vista. ?It was just a strong group of girls this year, who got along well together and played well together,? said Folsom coach Mike McBride. McBride said the Delta River League stopped selecting a Coach of the Year in the last couple seasons. He also said there probably could have been a couple more Bulldogs on the All-League team, but that things just don?t work like that. ?Alyssa is well deserving of that award. If you think about our league, there are 20 section champions. No other league has that. I mean, some of them were Division II or III, but we had a great year. We beat St. Francis twice and Davis. I mean, for these ladies it?s quite an honor to be selected.? This season was the first time Folsom beat St. Francis, a perennial powerhouse, more than once in an entire season, dating back to a 1-1-1 record against the Troubadours in 2007. Vista will return four of its five All-League players, while Folsom loses its five and another seven seniors. As to whether that gives Vista del Lago an advantage in next year?s Crosstown Cup, Esfandiary said you?ll just have to wait and see. ?You never know,? Esfandiary said, while laughing. ?Obviously we?re going to be hoping to win it and Coach Mike is probably going to have to rebuild his team, much like we did this year. It could go either way, but yeah, next year ? next year might be different.?