By Ryan Kuhn
There was a different attitude in the air as the women’s soccer team finished one of their final practices before the beginning of the season.
This was the same team that didn’t win a game two years ago, but with a new coach and a new philosophy, City College looks ahead to their 2010 season.
Second-year coach Gabe Saucedo is the man who brought this new philosophy on the field.
“We are going to focus on team chemistry and defense this season,” Saucedo said. “We are going to play a better brand of soccer.”
The Rams finished the 2009 season with a record of 5-11, finishing sixth in the Coast Conference. Defense was key in their successes, they allowed half as many goals as the year before Saucedo became their coach.
Sophomore Julie Alba is just one of the three returning players this season. The rest all came with recruiting.
“Last year team was starting to come together but we had to rush to put all the pieces together,” said Alba. “With a fresh start and team building it is so much easier.”
Saucedo not only searched throughout the city but also found players to come play from the Peninsula and the East Bay.
We have a very balanced team this year,” said Saucedo. “Everyone is going to contribute in their own way. I’m really excited.”
Having played for Saucedo the year before, Alba understands her new role for the team.
“It’s my job for everything to move smoothly on the field,” Alba said.
Midfielder Cyntia Salazar played a season before Saucedo became coach and she can really see a change.
“It was pretty bad back then,” said Salazar. “Players were injured. Now we have way more girls and everyone is playing hard. Its nice, like a big family.”
The Rams road will not be easy this season. As part of the Coast Conference they will have to play Skyline College twice. The Trojans were conference champions last year and finished undefeated with a record of 14-0-3.
Even with the hard schedule the players are motivated to do well.
“Playoffs are a reasonable goal, maybe even a conference championship,” said Alba. “We are this year’s Cinderella team. There is nothing we can’t do.”
The Rams first game is against Foothill College on Sept. 1. According to Saucedo it’s going to be tough for his club.
“It will be a challenging game,” Saucedo said. “Win, lose or draw. It will tell what kind of team we are.”
All home games are at Crocker Park. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.