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Vallecitos girls defeat Pauma to win Vallecitos Soccer Tournament

Borrego defeats Vikings boys in final

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Oct. 27 Vallecitos Soccer Tournament with seven small K-8 elementary schools and middle schools in Northern San Diego County and Southern Riverside County was played in Rainbow, and the Vallecitos Elementary School girls won the tournament by defeating Pauma Elementary School in the final while Borrego Springs Middle School defeated Vallecitos in the boys final.

"They played well," said Vallecitos girls coach Kristin Dignan.

This is Dignan's first year at Vallecitos Elementary School. "I didn't know what the competition was going to look like, so I wanted to make sure we were strong," she said.

Dignan is a club soccer coach in Temecula and holds a "C" license from the United States Soccer Federation. "I wanted everybody to have some playing time. I wanted everybody to get some experience," she said. "I wanted them to see how much fun soccer could be."

Ray Hanbeck coached the Vallecitos boys. "Overall they played very well," he said.

The Pauma girls and the Pauma boys, who placed fourth, were both coached by Jaime Lopez. The schools also included Cottonwood Elementary School (Aguanga), Hamilton Elementary School (Anza), Julian Junior High School, and Warner Middle School (Warner Springs). Cottonwood did not have a girls team; four Cottonwood girls played with the boys. Vallecitos had 17 girls and 17 boys. Pauma had 11 girls and 13 boys.

Hanbeck was also the tournament organizer. The girls played at Rainbow Park, which is owned and maintained by the County of San Diego and has a synthetic turf surface, while the boys utilized the Vallecitos Elementary School playground.

Five referees volunteered their time for the Vallecitos Soccer Tournament: father and son Tony Avila and Tony Avila, current Fallbrook High School girls soccer coach Nick Guerra, current Fallbrook High senior Josh Lopez, and former Cottonwood coach Scott Whitmore. The Vallecitos Student Council had a snack bar which raised funds for Student Council programs.

The games utilized a 20-minute running clock. The boys played 11-on-11 matches while the girls had 9-on-9 games. The teams were divided into two pools; each team played each other in the pool before the pool winners played for the championship and the pool runners-up played in the third-place game. The Vallecitos girls were in a pool with Warner and Hamilton, the Pauma girls were in the pool with Julian and Borrego Springs, and the Vallecitos and Pauma boys also had Julian and Warner in their pool.

Julian's girls lost 2-0 to the Bobcats. Shanae Carrasco and Yesenia Saldana scored Pauma's goals. Pauma goalkeeper Nancy Saavedra recorded the shutout with help from starting defenders Denise Carrasco, Daisy Parra, and Pamela Romero.

The 10 a.m. game for the Vallecitos girls was against Hamilton. The Vikings' 3-0 victory included goals by Kathy Rojas, Dalina Hernandez, and Arely Monroy. Isabel Chavez was the Vallecitos goalkeeper for that shutout while Dignan rotated the Vikings defenders.

Dignan also switched goalkeepers; Adela Alvaro had the shutout in the 4-0 pool play win over Warner with Rojas and Hernandez accounting for the Vallecitos goals.

Pauma's second pool play match was a 4-0 triumph over Borrego Springs. Saldana had three goals with Carrasco placing the other shot into the net.

The 2-0 pool play records placed Vallecitos and Pauma in the final against each other. Chavez was in goal for the Vikings' 5-1 victory.

"It's a team effort and everybody got to play and they practiced really hard and they deserved to win," Dignan said.

"What a pleasant surprise it was," Lopez said of Pauma finishing second.

"They played hard, didn't quit. Second place is not bad," Lopez said. "They surprised themselves how good they were."

Saldana scored the Bobcats' goal. Rojas increased her goals scored total for the tournament to six while Hernandez ended the game with five goals for the tournament.

"We're a young team," Lopez said. "We have several fifth graders."

Vallecitos and Pauma began boys play against each other. The Vikings prevailed by a 2-1 margin. "That was a nail-biter," Hanbeck said.

Sylvester Hernandez and Alonso Duran had the Vallecitos goals with Hernandez scoring on a pass from Miguel Diaz.

Pauma goalkeeper Matthias Kai Subish and his defenders shut out Warner in the 1-0 game which gave the Bobcats a 1-1 record. Vallecitos improved to 2-0 in pool play with a 4-1 victory in the Vikings' game against Warner; Geovani Yanez scored two goals, Duran and Gerardo Moreno had a goal apiece, and Hernandez provided two assists.

A 5-1 Pauma victory over Julian gave the Bobcats a final 2-1 record in pool play. Vallecitos defeated Julian by a 6-0 margin with Duran and Hernandez each scoring three goals. Bryant Ortiz was the Vallecitos goalkeeper with the shutout and was aided by defenders Michael Alvarez, Jesus Armenta, Diaz, and Ervin Velazquez. The 3-0 pool record gave Vallecitos first place in the Vikings' pool while Pauma was second in that pool.

Cottonwood placed second in the other boys pool. The Cougars obtained a 3-0 victory over Pauma in the third-place game.

The boys championship game was scoreless for the first 18 minutes. "It was a hard-fought game," Hanbeck said.

A Borrego shot which was touched by Bryant but went into the net was the game's only goal, giving Borrego a 1-0 victory and the championship.

"A little disappointing, but it bodes well for the future of us," Hanbeck said.

Hanbeck explained that only three of the Vallecitos boys are eighth graders, so the other players are expected to return for the 2023 Vallecitos Soccer Tournament. Last year the Vikings were 1-2 in pool play.

Because Borrego is a middle school, all of the students were in sixth grade or above. "They were very big kids compared to our smaller kids," Hanbeck said.

If weather permits the next tournament will be a flag football tournament Dec. 1 at Hamilton High School in Anza.


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