KINGSBURG — The Kingsburg girls soccer team extended its winning streak to 14 games after a 2-0 win over Dinuba at home on Feb. 2.
Overall, the Vikings improved to 20-1-1 and 8-0 in Central Sequoia League play.
It was senior night for Kingsburg, which was a time for the team’s upperclassmen to reflect on playing a final regular season game at home.
“It’s a time to just kind of reflect on all the other games we’ve had on the field,” said senior defender and team co-captain Karlee Hodges. “It’s what we started at and where we’re finishing at, but just to remember that it's not over and we still have a lot more games to keep [playing] and focusing on.”
Hodges’ teammate Gianna Alves, who is also a team captain, said senior night was a night of reflecting. But Alves said it’s “just another game” for them.
“It’s a night to show how far you guys have come and just show how much farther we have [to go],” Alves said.
Alves is second on the team in scoring with 19 goals. Sophomore forward/striker Marissa Montelongo leads Kingsburg with 23 scores. Alves didn’t score on senior night, but she had two other scores against Exeter on Jan. 31. Even though she has great offensive numbers this season, Alves gives the credit to her team.
“My team does a really great job of giving me the ball and it’s a team effort,” Alves said. “That’s why we’re all good at scoring because our defense works hard, our goalie works hard, all 21 players work hard and that’s why we’re able to score so much.”
Junior midfielder Kylee Silva, who is the third team captain, said she’s really thankful for the seniors and every player on the team.
“I’ve gotten to grow up with a lot of these girls playing soccer,” Silva said. “It’s good to see their energy that they bring, it’s kind of inspiring and it makes me want to work harder.”
Silva scored her sixth goal of the season against Dinuba in the 28th minute.
Montelongo scored the Vikings other goal of the game in the 38th minute.
The win against the Emperors was the team’s 22nd-straight win at home and 19th consecutive victory in a CSL game dating back to the 2015-16 season. Kingsburg has also been great defensively by allowing eight goals this year.
“A team is always going to be more comfortable at home,” said Vikings’ head coach Scott Hodges. “You don’t have to travel, you don’t have to ride the bus, you’re used to the field and things like that.”
Hodges added that he’s been impressed with the team's preparation and work ethic before each game, which could be a reason for the team’s success the past few seasons.
Alves said the team’s success could be due to the team's philosophy of all 21 players contributing in their roles.
“We focus on teamwork, unity and just keeping everyone together,” Alves said. “I think that’s why we have so much success.”
Another reason for the team’s success is Hodges’ theme of focusing on things they can control.
When the team was at a tournament in Newport Beach earlier this season, the Vikings were scheduled to play a game at 10 a.m., but ended up playing an hour later. Hodges said that was a perfect situation of something they couldn’t control. He thought the girls handled it well with a 2-1 win over Newport Harbor High School on Dec. 2.
“One of the things that we talked about early in the season was there’s so many things you can control during a season,” Hodges said. “We've got to stay focused on the things we could control and not worry about the things we can’t control and these girls are very good about that.”
On Monday, the Vikings played Central Valley Christian on the road, who entered the game with at 8-10-3 overall and 3-3-2 in league play. The next game for Kingsburg will be a road matchup against Immanuel, who are at 4-10-2 overall and 1-7 in league play.