KINGSBURG — The top-seeded Kingsburg girls soccer team wasted no time in the quarterfinals of the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Div. IV playoffs by defeating Taft High School 8-0 at home on Feb. 16.
Kingsburg’s next opponent was Fowler High School at home on Feb. 20 (after press time). Fowler defeated Golden Valley 6-0 at home in the quarterfinals on Feb. 16.
As for the Vikings and Taft game, it was a matchup between two teams that hadn’t lost since December. Kingsburg won 16-straight games and the Wildcats went 7-0-3 to end the season.
In the first half, the Vikings jumped to a 5-0 lead with goals by Maci Morton (3rd, 37th minute), Marissa Montelongo (5th), Gianna Alves (14th) and Kylee Silva (32nd).
The girls added three more scores with an own goal (41st minute), Emily Nystream (58th) and Mary Rooney (73rd).
It was the 12th-straight win at home this season for Kingsburg, and head coach Scott Hodges said the support from the community is great for the team’s home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“We got a great support group for the girls,” Hodges said. “That is really neat and I know the girls really enjoyed that. Having their friends, family and peers out here definitely helps the girls get excited about the game and getting to play in Kingsburg for their home fans.”
The last time the Vikings lost was Dec. 1 to Corona del Mar High School at Newport Beach. Kingsburg went 5-0-1 after the loss and went on its 17-game winning streak after a 0-0 tie to Stockdale High School on Dec. 15.
When asked about the team’s last loss, Hodges said they “don’t talk about wins and losses.”
“We prepared hard, we try our very best when we show up,” Hodges said. “I don’t think our mentality changed, it’s just we try to work our system, trying to out work and hustle and give our effort.”
Last year, the Vikings won the Valley Championship as the top-seed in the CIF Div. IV playoffs and Hodges said that team started a foundation and created a different culture for this current squad.
“One of the things we talked about at the end of last year was honoring that group that graduated,” Hodges said. “[I told them] ‘Let’s not start from scratch and start over, but build from where we left from last year’ and I think our girls really took that to heart.”
In the semi-finals, Kingsburg faced a Fowler squad that won nine-straight games before the two teams faced off.
Fowler came into the game at 18-8-1 overall and 9-1 as the West Sequoia League champions.
“Just like always, we’re taking it one game at a time,” Hodges said. “We never take anyone lightly. It doesn’t matter what their record is …we’re going to prepare our best and to be our best.”
The Vikings Central Section title victory last year was the first in the program’s history.