Aptos High's Roberto Muñoz, No. 20, fights for the ball during their non-league match against Greenfield on Dec. 9. The Mariners defeated the Bruins, 3-1, to improve to 4-1-1 this season. (Juan Reyes/The Pajaronian)

APTOS—The Aptos High boys’ soccer team is in the midst of what some would consider the grueling part of its preseason schedule.  

Coming off a draw against Pajaro Valley High, the Mariners battled their way to a 3-1 win over Greenfield High on Dec. 9. 

Joey Mackle and the rest of the squad was told prior to the game that the Bruins were going to be a physical team. He finished with two of the team’s three goals on Thursday night.

“We knew what we were in for playing against them,” Mackle said. “We were ready and I think we did a good job of keeping it clean, and keeping it physical throughout the game.”

Going into Thursday’s match, Mackle said they wanted to show they were capable of controlling the game especially against a great opponent such as Greenfield. 

“Be able to hold our own and pass the ball, capitalize on our attacks,” Mackle said. “We could’ve finished up a little better but I think we did a good job at the end.”

Aptos coach Roberto Zuniga said more than anything he was just hoping his players could walk away without any injuries.

“I commend the kids for being able to have some sort of composure,” he said. 

Mackle put the Mariners on the scoreboard with a goal just six minutes into the game. The assist came from a cross by Chuy Muñoz.

Zuniga told the team during halftime that they needed a quicker release and make the Bruins run, along with attempting to gain control of the ball. 

“More than anything I see the boys improving game after game,” Zuniga said.

Achilles Carrillo extended the Mariners’ lead with a goal in the 67th minute. The play developed from the second-third of the field by Fredys Abrego, who dished it out to Kaleb Plascencia. 

Plascencia, who was credited with the assist, crossed it low on the ground from the right to left, where Carrillo knocked his power shot to the back of the net.

“We just knew we needed to go harder. We were kind of getting beat to the ball a little bit,” Mackle said. “We came out in the second half and played more aggressively and more physically.” 

Mackle sealed the victory with his second goal of the evening that came in the form of a header in the 73rd minute, giving the Mariners a 3-0 lead. The assist was credited to Eddie Álvarez from a corner kick.

“I know Eddie puts in a good corner every time,” Mackle said. “Everyone else on the field was a little tired for the other team and I felt like I could jump a little higher, and I got to it. It was a great cross.”  

Zuniga credited the Bruins for battling until the final whistle. Their lone bright spot of the night was a penalty kick attempt in the 79th minute that was converted for a score.

Up next, the Mariners (4-1-1) play at Watsonville High on Tuesday at 6:45pm.

NMC 3, Marina 0: Saul Magos notches a pair of goals for North Monterey County in their non-league win over the Mariners on Dec. 10. Eduardo Magdaleno added a goal, while Geovanny Ochoa and Carlos Paredes each recorded an assist. The Condors (1-2-1) play at Seaside on Thursday at 5:45pm.

Watsonville 3, Los Altos 0: The Wildcatz recorded a shutout win over the Eagles in pool play at the Homestead Christmas Cup in Cupertino on Dec. 11. Watsonville (3-0-2) will host Aptos (4-1-1) on Tuesday at 6:45pm.

Watsonville 1, Los Gatos 1: Senior David Ibarra scored on a pass from Mateo Arias in the second half in the Wildcatz’s draw against Los Gatos in pool play for the Homestead Christmas Cup on Dec. 9. 

Senior goalie Edgar Angel made three saves over 80 minutes for Watsonville.

Girls soccer

Aptos 1, Alisal 0: Malia Kessler scored in the eighth minute on a shot that deflected off a Trojans player Saturday in non-league action.

Goalie Kylie Nelson made four saves for the Mariners (5-0-1), who play at Monte Vista Christian on Tuesday at 7pm.

Aptos 4, Salinas 0: Jazmine Castañeda recorded a goal and a pair of assists in a win over the Cowboys in non-league action on Dec. 9. 

Goalie Kylie Nelson got things started for Aptos when she blocked a penalty kick attempt by Salinas in the 10th minute. Shortly after, Gwen Chapman scored in the 22nd minute on an assist by Castañeda.  

Kelsea Ford scored in the 25th minute and Castañeda was credited with her second assist of the evening.

Castañeda scored in the 66th minute. Summer Jacob was credited with the assist. Ava Hymes capped off the scoring for the Mariners in the 79th minute on the assist by Ford. 

MVC 1, Harbor 0: Sophomore midfielder Julia Reiland scored in the second half for the Mustangs in their non-league win over the Pirates on Dec. 10.

Reiland has two goals this season for MVC (3-2-0), which will host Aptos (5-0-1) on Tuesday at 7pm.

Pajaro Valley 4, San Lorenzo Valley 0: Junior Karla Leyva scored three first-half goals for the Grizzlies in a shutout win over the Cougars in non-league play on Dec. 9.  

PV (1-1-0) will host Scotts Valley (1-1-0) on Dec. 16 at 3:15pm.

St. Francis 6, Oakwood 1: Makena Bedolla scored four goals and Monse Ramirez scored twice in the Sharks’ non-league win Dec. 7.

The Sharks (2-0-0) play at Harbor (2-2-0) on Dec. 13 at 6pm.

Watsonville 3, at SLV 0: Anely Flores and Aubrey Rodriguez each had a goal and assist in the Wildcatz’s non-league win over the Cougars on Dec. 10.

Julissa Felix also scored a goal on an assist from Kiana Varela.

Goalie Nayeli Jimenez made five saves for the Wildcatz (4-3), who play at Carmel on Tuesday at 3:30pm.

Santa Cruz 2, Watsonville 0: The Wildcatz were held scoreless in their non-league loss to the Cardinals on Dec. 7.

Reporting Scores

Coaches are encouraged to report scores and highlights to [email protected] following games. Please include your name and contact number in the email.

Previous articleMariners’ girls team stays hot with crushing win over Toreadors | HS Basketball Roundup
Next articleMeasure U extension will likely go to voters in 2022
A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here