boys soccer program this season is positive, and all parties involved seem to be happy with the stabilization of the coaching situation with
nearing the end of his first year at the helm, and the progress of the program under his direction.
Reflecting this stability and progress, the Vikings dispatched the visiting
Christian High School
Patriots (from El Cajon) handily, 3-0, in a non-league encounter Feb. 13.
scored goals in the first half, while
added a third in the second half. La Jolla is now 5-7-4 overall, 1-3-2 in the Western League.
, whom Conner says has been the most consistent player this season, said: “We were trying different formations. We practiced playing balls over the top (versus passes on the ground). We were trying different things to prepare for the Cathedral game (Feb. 19).”
La Jolla started a heavily senior-laden lineup in honor of their last home game at Edwards Stadium.
had a nifty save in goal in the 25th minute. He made another good save in the 27th minute, diving in front of the right post, narrowly preventing the ball from sneaking in the corner of the goal as he sprawled to make the save. The Vikings’ four captains are all seniors:
, Salamanca, Chayet and Artenstein.
Chayet, starting as left midfielder, opened up scoring dribbling up from the right side and shooting across into the left half of the net in the 12th minute. West, whom Conner inserted with several others in the 19th minute, followed with his goal in the 26th minute. Virtually the entire roster saw ample minutes of playing time as the coach substituted freely. He seems to have a good rapport with his players.
Commented Mendoza: “We started to play together as a team this year, and I guess we’re getting somewhere now. I try to (get us to) be together, because it’s not 1 vs. 11, it’s 11 vs. 11. I play every position except goalie.”
Highlights during this rebuilding season for La Jolla have been a tie with league-leader St. Augustine High School, 1-1, which they felt they could have won, and a 0-0 draw versus Point Loma High. The Vikings added a win over rival University City High 2-1.
“The team is improving, and the program is starting to have all its needs met,” Conner said. “So we’re just trying to finish off the season strong. Everyone on the team has pulled together. Leadership from the seniors: Accord Mendoza and Edgar Salamanca. Those are probably the key seniors.”
Said Artenstein, a senior, prior to the game: “We look to play a strong defense and possess the ball on offense and connect with teammates to create opportunities in the box.” La Jolla succeeded in this game plan.
Conner pointed out he also coaches a local club team, so that only reinforces his statement that he is staying around. Each of those factors can only make La Jolla stronger.