Cabrillo Soccer

Girls’ Soccer Preview: Cabrillo Jaguars

Allowing underclassman to play during the shortened spring season created a well-balanced roster full of developing talent has Cabrillo girls’ soccer looking to make a run at breaking into the top four of the Moore League.

“It helped that we went from spring directly into an offseason that led into this current season,” Cabrillo third-year coach Roberto Escartin said. “There wasn’t big gap where the girls didn’t have soccer in their lives. Normally the big gap and of stops the progress they’re making. I think we did a pretty good job kind of weathering that storm.”

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Senior center midfielders Melanie Nava and Evelin Zaragosa have the most Varsity expense on the roster, and will be creating space in the attacking third for senior Abigail Saucedo.

“She has pretty good vision and can make plays with a pretty good touch on the ball,” Escartin said of Saucedo. “She can also make plays for people around her. If Melanie and Evelin can play her into space she can be a big contributor this year.”

On defense, Melissa Bautista will be joined by fellow senior Layla Avila as the back line anchors.

“She’s one of our hardest working defenders who steps up to every challenge,” Escartin said of Bautista. “This year she’s developed an offensive mind so she can get involved in our attach which is something that I love for my defenders.”

Freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Salgado, who is a club goalkeeper with good experience outside of high school soccer, has to fill the big shoes left by Moore League second-team keeper Sandra Zepeda.

“She’s just a soccer player,” Escartin said of Salgado. “She’s good in the field so we can use that to our advantage. If we play in back to her she’s got the ability to control the game and look for another pass as a support option. She understands the game, and I’m not worried about her making mistakes because its all experience and the more experience she gets the better.”

Salgado will have fellow freshman Joally De La Rosa and Maralyn Marquez on the back line.

“We are going to be more defensive minded,” Escartin said. “We’re not going to sit back the entire time, we’re going to look for that opportunity to use the width and play as wide as possible, but I want us to control the game as much as we can, and get as much possession as we can. I think we have the ability to do that. it’s just a matter of minimizing mistakes and taking advantage of the opportunities when we do attack.”

Escartin added the lack of off-field issues has also helped the growth of his group during the offseason.

“I think our team really gels,” he said. “They’re great students too. We have a great group of girls who kind of take responsibility for the things they have to do. They know stuff off the field can be the priority but they don’t sacrifice time on the field one bit. They’re always here ready to work and they work well together. they enjoy being here and learning.”

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.