Prep Preview: Southwestern League

BOYS PREP SOCCER 2015-’16
SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE PREVIEW

(Records in parenthesis)

There likely will be plenty of movement in around the top of the league table this season as Vista Murrieta struggles to keep the pace it set last season. Temecula Chaparral looks most keen to capitalize after a semifinal run that came as a surprise to everyone except those within the Pumas camp.

Vista Murrieta (18-5-4, 8-0-2) had its best-ever season but did so with its best class of players and a talented academy bounce-back. If the only constant is change, the Broncos are about to experiencing plenty on a yearly basis.

Great Oak (17-4-6, 7-0-3) were a CIF-SS Division 4 quarterfinalist in coach Gabriel Marquez’s first year in the lead, but this season will be perhaps an even greater test of his ability, acumen and resources.

Chaparral (18-8-2, 6-3-1) was the league’s third-place finisher but was its top playoff performer, reaching the semifinal round under first-year coach Waad Ajou. Expect a defensive side this season.

Murrieta Valley (6-12-2, 3-7-0) was 0-for-6 against the league’s playoff team’s last season, so that’ll have to get better if the Nighthawks plan to do anything.

Murrieta Mesa (3-17-2, 2-7-1) scored just 10 goals all season, getting shut out in 15 games including their final three to end the year.

Temecula Valley (7-16-3, 0-9-1) struggled mightily the last half of the season but graduated just four seniors so things are looking up.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Chaparral
Great Oak
Vista Murrieta
Temecula Valley
Murrieta Valley
Murrieta Mesa

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
GK Alessandro Bonazinga (Soph., Vista Murrieta)
GK Macay Clelland (Sr., Temecula Valley)
GK Alex Franklin (Sr., Temecula Great Oak)
D Cesar Galvan (Sr., Temecula Chaparral)
F Romeo Hernandez (Sr., Temecula Valley)
F Ryan Johnson (Sr., Murrieta Valley)
MF/F Nick Kane (Sr., Temecula Great Oak)
F Micah Hill (Sr., Vista Murrieta)
GK Dane Tipps (Sr., Temecula Chaparral)
GK Sammy Quilan (Sr., Murrieta Valley)

PROMINENT GAMES:
Dec. 7 — Claremont at Vista Murrieta, 5 p.m.
Dec. 10 — MoVal Rancho Verde at Great Oak, 5 p.m.
Dec. 11 — Vista Murrieta at La Quinta, 3:15 p.m.
Jan. 21 — Murrieta Valley at Temecula Valley, 5 p.m.
Feb. 2 — Great Oak at Chaparral, 5 p.m.
Feb. 9 — Chaparral at Vista Murrieta, 5 p.m.

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