KINGSBURG — For the second-straight year, the Kingsburg girls soccer team celebrated a Valley championship victory at home after defeating Foothill High School 1-0 in the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Div. IV title game on Feb. 23.
It’s the program’s second-straight Valley title.
Family, friends and fans celebrated on the field after the girls were awarded post game. During the celebrations many of the Kingsburg players cried tears of joy while getting hugs from their families and taking pictures.
“I’m just so happy with all the work that paid off,” said Marissa Montelongo, a sophomore. “We worked together, it was a team effort, and I’m so happy right now.”
Montelongo put together an impressive season for the Vikings. The striker/forward led the team with 29 scores and it was her second-straight season scoring 20 or more goals. She scored 27 goals as a freshman.
The sophomore was responsible for the lone score of the game, which occurred in the 19th minute.
Other players who were celebrating were twins Lindsay and Lauren Ardavanis, both seniors and part of last year’s Valley championship team.
“I think it’s special to be on this team,” Lindsay Ardavanis said. “If we had won or lost, it’s just a great team … but winning two times in a row with these girls has been fun and a good way to end senior year.”
Lindsay Ardavanis is one of the team’s four players who have scored double-digit goals. She scored 10 goals this season, which is behind Maci Morton (11 goals), Gianna Alves (24) and Montelongo.
The sisters said the atmosphere of the home crowd was great throughout the season.
“It makes it more exciting that everyone comes and supports us,” Lauren Ardavanis said, “and it makes more of an exciting atmosphere.”
As a team, Kingsburg went 26-1-1 overall with an unblemished 10-0 Central Sequoia League record and its second consecutive league title. It was the second-straight year the Vikings went undefeated through CSL competition.
Kingsburg outscored opponents 99-8 throughout the season and playoffs. The team didn’t allow a goal throughout the playoffs and outscored its postseason opponents 16-0.
The Vikings also ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.
“We’re just like family, we’re not even a team, we’re family,” Montelongo said. “We love each other so much and that helps our chemistry on the field.”
The season is not done for Kingsburg. The girls will continue their season in the CIF Southern California Regional playoffs.
It’ll be the second year in a row the Vikings will compete in the regional playoffs. Last year, Kingsburg lost to Viewpoint High School in a 6-5 shootout in the first round.
Vikings’ head coach Scott Hodges said he’s looking forward to coaching the girls in the regionals for the second time of his career. He hopes his team plays in a home game this time around.
“I would love for us to be able to host a game,” Hodges said. “Not only for our players, but our community will [get to] experience hosting a Southern regional game.”
Hodges said last year’s experience was vital for the girls.
“We didn’t really know what to expect,” Hodges said. “I think for the girls to have that opportunity last year and realize that we can compete with these Southern [section] schools.”
The seeding for the CIF Southern California Div. IV Regional playoffs will be posted on the CIF State website on Sunday, March 4. First round will be played on March 6 and semifinals will be played two days later. Regional championship games will be played on March 10.