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Published January 19th, 2022
Lamorinda girls' soccer - positives on the pitch
Tatum Zuber - Acalanes

Despite having to play outdoors in inclement weather, there were no complaints coming from any of the Lamorinda soccer teams. "With the short season last spring, everyone was looking forward to a normal season, even with the rain and cold," Miramonte head coach Barry McQuain said. "That's girls' soccer."
As the second anniversary of Acalanes winning the Northern California Regional Championship approaches, the Dons look to be in good position to defend that honor after a season where there were no playoffs. With a 6-1 record and having outscored their opponents by a combined 37-5, their main concern might be one of overconfidence.
This is a team with both youth and experience comprised of 15 seniors and juniors and nine sophomores and freshmen. "We have a really good mix of players," coach Nick Barbarino said. "It reminds me of our team two years ago when we had a similar mix of players."
The three captains on the team, Addie Bailey, Tatum Zuber and Chloe Quintella, were freshmen on that championship team along with juniors Jacque Peacock, Camryn Salazar, and Taylor Carlin.
The upperclassmen have utilized their playoff experience to create a winning environment, Barbarino said: "The leadership and composure of this group makes it feel like a team that has been there. They understand the high-pressure situations and how to get through them."
The offense is led by Bailey, Zuber and Natalie Means. Means was just activated, scoring two goals in her first game, and will be playing for Georgetown next year. Freshmen Taylor Mikalis (5 goals) and Nicole Nguyen and sophomore Ella Thomason are among the girls that have scored at least one goal.
Barbarino has never been afraid to throw freshmen into the mix. "It's like life," Barbarino said. "If you can contribute, it doesn't matter what age or grade you're in. We're going to put the best players on the field. We are really deep this year. The freshmen are learning and improving, and it really helps that the upperclassmen are helping them to acclimate and get up to speed."
The Dons are only giving up 0.66 goals/game. Junior Catherine Judson, starting for her second year, has been very solid in the net along with freshman backup Melisa Adatepe. "Catherine has gotten a lot better with her passing and position and is much more comfortable in the net," Barbarino said. "She is great at reading the ball in the air and has very quick reactions. We're also excited about Melisa's future."
The line protecting Judson is led by Quintella and Peacock. "Chloe and Jacque, our center backs, have both been great all year," Barbarino said. "We are really deep on this line with Sammy Hess (Sr), Taylor Carlin (Jr), Avery Ives (Soph) and Demi Woods (Fr)."
With the early season success, Barbarino does not want the team to get overconfident: "We never want to get complacent. The girls know what I expect of them, and they also hold each other accountable. We're working on positivity and understanding that not everything will be positive and how do we turn negative situations into positives. It's just about creating an environment where they have fun."
After eight games, Campolindo remains undefeated with a record of 5-0-3. The frustration at having only an abbreviated season last spring, has only served to motivate the team. "After last season without playoffs, we came into this year ready to jump into competition," head coach Luis Pinto said. "We were eager and prepared with a lot of good players. We have 12 returners, so it's been looking really good."
With 16 seniors and juniors on the team, there is no lack of experience. Heading the offense are senior twin sisters, Mia and Ella Colombini, both of whom will be playing for UC Irvine next year. "They were key players last year and are co-captains this year and are our leading scorers," Pinto said. "They do a great job supporting each other with both lining up as attacking midfielders. Mylie Jaquet, a freshman, is also a player that has made a big impact on the team. She was shy but feisty and has made a big difference blending in very quickly with the team. Senior co-captain center back, Sami Kolin (who will be playing for Cal State Northridge next year) has been a great passer so that when she wins the ball, she has the freedom to drive up and set up her teammates."
The defense has only given up 14 goals and is led by senior goalie Marissa Karver and her backup junior Anna Mooradian. "Marissa has been on the team since her freshman year, and this is her first year as a starter. She is very humble and a hard worker," Pinto said. "She is a great communicator with the back line. She is very competitive and can be hard on herself. Ana has been getting some playing time which will help her next season." Besides Kolin, seniors Ainsley Murphy and Marion Berzansky have been solid on defense as well.
Pinto's key to be successful the rest of the season? "We need to stay humble, keep working hard, respecting our opponents and always pointing towards the next game."
The Matadors are also a very mature team with 16 juniors and seniors out of the 23 players on the roster. With 12 of the players having at least one goal or one assist, it's a number that McQuaid appreciates: "I want as many different players scoring or assisting."
Co-captains Julia Hunt and Avery Welch lead the offense. Two freshmen, Olivia Penney and Katrina White, are lining up as both strikers and wings and have contributed immediately. "They have good speed, ball control and the talent to play," McQuaid said. "Olivia has some wonderful assists playing out on the wing with some great crosses. Katrina plays more of a striker role, playing with her back to the goal and it's great to see her being able to play that way."
Co-captain and goalie Rowan Blacklock has been a leader on defense. "Rowan is a solid player in the net," McQuaid said. "She guides the defense well and has a lot of experience and skills. She sees the plays very nicely and positions herself well and she is not afraid to get physical. She has a commanding presence and we're confident when we have her in the goal."
There is a lot of talent lining up in front of Blacklock led by juniors Tahra Minowada, Addie Cresson and Ellie Foster. "Tahra anchors the defense in the middle," McQuaid said. "Cresson will play the left and right side and is one of our strongest defenders in transition from defense to offense. She has great speed and can dribble without looking at the ball, so she is really able to see the field, complimenting Tahra nicely. Ellie has also been doing a great job." There is also great depth on defense led by Shauna Lindheim, Izzie Mobley, Sophia Swenson, and Caitlyn Jenkins.
Co-captain Avery Welch, junior Jada Deitrick and sophomores Zoey Rossiter and Asthon Laczkowski lead the midfielders. "The four of them are able to run like crazy," McQuaid said. "They are really strong players and are aggressive on offense and defense."
Though they have started slowly (3-5-1), McQuaid is taking a long-term perspective on the team: "The players are still learning to anticipate what their teammates are doing and that will come with playing together. The girls all get along and like playing with each other. Playing late in February as opposed to early December is just a huge difference. We have a very skilled group of girls and hope that our record will show that as the season develops."

Addie Bailey, Jacque Peacock, Taylor Mikalis, Nicole Nguyen Photos Acalanes Boosters

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