This past season, Mission Bay finished with an outstanding 23-4-1 mark (15-0 at home), ending as champions of the City League.
“This team was a hard-working group that continually rose to the challenges presented them,” head coach Jorge Palacios remarked. “The team chemistry was excellent from the first day of practice as the team was made up of five seniors, two juniors, four sophomores, and eight freshmen.”
According to Palacios, the thing that struck him the most was how consistent they were in their passion, competition, and teamwork.
“There was definitely a strong team-first mentality with this group that we will build on going into next season,” Palacios said. “This team loved to practice together, to hang out, and to be teammates. I already miss our practices.”
According to Palacios, the graduating seniors include: Lindsey Price (natural leader, positive attitude, fun-loving personality); Kylie Kroeger (hard working player, athletically gifted, excellent student and athlete, competitive, model teammate); Diana Suarez (high soccer IQ, has matured over four years into a leader, leads by example); Claire Fitzsimmons (fastest on the team, determined, hard-working); and Emily Reyes (keeps things light and in perspective, great shooter, fun-loving).
Palacios noted the underclassmen to be: Lina Rodriguez (set single-season record for goals with 39 regular season scores, also had hat-trick in quarterfinals, natural scorer with excellent ball skills, work ethic, amazingly humble); Jeryn Young (solid defender who came on late; super competitive yet fun-loving); and Ryana Bueno (leads by example, tough, gritty midfielder/defender).
According to Palacios, the biggest wins of the season were at San Diego on their senior night when Mission Bay clinched the league championship with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in front of a hostile crowd.
“That win showed the team's toughness and grit as well as their ability to finish,” Palacios remarked.
He also highlighted a quarterfinal win over Monte Vista.
“That win showcased our ability to hold possession, play with speed, and finish. We completely overwhelmed a very good team at home,” Palacios added.
As important as a head coach and his or her staff are to a team’s ability to win, it is of course the players who lay it all on the line in both practice and in games.
Team captain Price was one of those players who showcased her leadership abilities time and again.
“Our team this year was successful because we recognized our potential from the very start of the season,” Price commented. “We took every practice, every game and every workout/conditioning as an opportunity for growth and we went out to every game with a positive mindset and just played our game.”
Price said she enjoyed this season more than any other because the girls were really like a family.
“Every day I looked forward to practice because I got to be with my best friends for two hours, forgetting about everything else happening in my life,” Price stated. “We all shared the same goal of being successful and we were.”
As for incoming advice for the freshmen looking to be a part of this successful program next season, Price advises them to make their mark early, realize this is where it all starts and then have the next four years to show everyone what they can do both on and off the field.
Another key component of this year’s team was fellow senior and captain Kroeger.
According to Kroeger, the leadership roles on and off the field allowed everyone to do their very best. Also having a supportive coaching throughout the season proved key.
“I loved how everyone was friends with each other and we all enjoyed playing on the field together,” Kroeger commented.
For this season’s team, you can bet a lifetime of memories was made.