Prep Preview: Temecula Vly @ Vista Murrieta

I’m covering the Temecula Valley-Vista Murrieta girls varsity soccer match tonight, Feb. 11, 2016, for The Press-Enterprise, pe.com & @PEcom_preps.

The best part of this assignment is that it again pits the Inland Area’s top two teams this season, this time in the regular-season finale for the Southwestern League title.

temeculavalleyLOGOTHE LOW DOWN:
Temecula Valley (17-3-2 overall, 6-1-2 Southwestern) won, 3-1, the last time these teams played and holds the edge going into tonight. The Golden Bears are riding a two-game shutout streak but have scored just four goals since topping Vista Murrieta at home to close out January. The second half of league play did not start how Coach Jennifer Guinn certainly would’ve like — a 1-0 loss at Temecula Chaparral — but her team has three wins since, and has still surrendered just six goals in nine league games. Yes, senior goalkeeper Kelsie Whitmore is a stud. Junior forward Christine Maurer did not score in their first meeting so the pressure will be on for her to produce tonight.

VistaMurrietaLOGOVista Murrieta (17-3-5 overall, 6-1-2 Southwestern) has yet to allow a goal in February — a total of 240-plus minutes so far — and have outscored opponents 8-1 in four games since its 3-1 loss at Temecula Valley on Jan. 26. This is the return match, and defensively the Broncos are ready. But can they score a goal? It seems Coach Ryan Heise’s side may have used up all its offensive energy in a 6-0 win over Murrieta Mesa last week. today is the time for talented forwards Josie Guinn and Ashley Johnson to come to life. They might already be a playoff team but tonight’s may the most difficult game they ever play. How bad do they want to win an SWL title?

THE STARTING XIs:
Temecula Valley
— GK Kelsie Whitmore (Sr.); SW Hailey Golec (Sr.); LB Iliana Escobedo (Sr.); ST Sophie Gharderi (Soph.) RB Nicole Colica (Jr.); LM Cami Gayden (Sr.); CM Christine Goodman (Fr.); RM Alex Vehlow (Jr.); CAM Bridgette Whitney (Sr.); LF Cailin Koupal (Sr.); RF Christine Maurer (Jr.)

Vista Murrieta — GK Rebeeccah Rojas (Jr.); LB Lydia Buggs (Jr.); CB Madison Schultz (Soph.); CB Elise Bengtson (Jr.); RB Hannah Matthews (Jr.); LM Josie Guinn (Jr.); CM Miah Conde (Jr.); CM Farah Ganime (Sr.); RM Kathleen McCarthy (Sr.); LF Emma Vanderhyden (Jr.); RF Ashley Johnson (Jr.)

THE DIFFERENCE:
Vista Murrieta is the far more direct of the two teams, but Temecula Valley’s keeper is on the short list for Inland Area Player of the Year.

THE FINAL SCORE:
Vista Murrieta 1, Temecula Valley 1

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