High school notebook: Empire soccer stars succeeding in college
Press Democrat staff | Aug 30, 2016

Two of the brightest stars in girls soccer from the past couple of seasons are already making their marks on the college game.

Three-time All-Empire Player of the Year and Maria Carrillo grad Maddy Gonzalez cracked Santa Clara University’s starting lineup Sunday in the Broncos’ 2-1 loss to the University of Washington. Gonzalez has notched two assists for the 2-2 Broncos, including a pass in double overtime against Cal which led to the game winner. Santa Clara, which is expected to fall in the national rankings from its current spot at 13 after back-to-back losses against Washington State and Washington, plays Marquette at home Thursday.

Taylor Ziemer, the two-time Gatorade California Player of the Year from Montgomery, has started three out of the University of Virginia’s four games and scored twice for the fourth-ranked Cavaliers. Ziemer got her first college goal against Liberty on Aug. 19 and got on the board again with a goal against Michigan State on Aug. 25.

Virginia plays Oklahoma Friday.

Lobos getting feet wet

Elsie Allen suited up 18 players for last Saturday’s football game at St. Vincent. Fourteen of those athletes were getting their first varsity experience. The Lobos don’t have a junior varsity program, so this was the initial game action for a majority of the team.

“We had to start practice teaching the most basic fundamentals,” coach Madison Lott said.

Given the inexperience, Elsie did well. The Lobos trailed 30-18 heading to the final quarter and lost 43-18. This Friday, they host Millennium (Tracy).

Eagles ready to rebound

Cloverdale’s football team likely played its toughest opponent in last Saturday’s season opener. The Eagles lost to Berean Christian, 48-0.

“We probably won’t play anyone that good the rest of the year,” first-year coach Chad Talley said.

The Eagles will face another team that lost its opener when they travel to Fremont on Saturday, where Irvington awaits. The Vikings opened the season with a 74-0 loss to Encinal.

This is Talley’s first head coaching job. The Air Force veteran most recently was an assistant at Homestead High in Cupertino.

Petaluma regrouping

Petaluma’s football team has a bye this weekend and coach Rick Krist says it’s coming at a great time.

The Trojans lost their opener to Windsor, 42-7.

Petaluma swings back into action on Sept. 9 when Rodriguez (Fairfield) comes to town.

El Molino opening

El Molino High School is accepting applications for the varsity baseball head coach job.

Interested applicants should contact Athletic Director Mike Roan at mroan.ehs@wscuhsd.k12.ca.us or 824-6563.

Kerry Benefield and correspondent Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

From left, Brook Dunham, Maddy Gonzalez and Clair Howard of the Maria Carrillo varsity soccer team at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, Tuesday Sept. 9, 2015. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)