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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Cougar soccer teams await playoffs after split

  • Cougar men defeated College of the Sequoias while the Cougar women fell 4-2 to Fresno City College
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  • Taft College’s soccer teams – coached by husband/wife Angelo and Myisha Cutrona – will find out today where they will be seeded in the state playoffs that begin on Saturday.
    For the undefeated Cougar men (15-0-5), it’s a foregone conclusion that they’ll be the top seed in the 16-team northern California playoffs because, well, they finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the region and in the state.
    The picture isn’t as clear for the women, who will be in the playoffs for the first time in the program’s six-year history.
    In the final state poll, calculated by a power rating system that takes into account a variety of factors, the TC women are 13th.
    Both teams finished the regular season last Friday, the men beating winless College of the Sequoias 4-1 while the women dropped a 4-2 decision to Fresno City College, No. 1 in NorCal and No. 2 in the state.  Both games were on the road.
    “We are in the playoffs for the first time in our history, and I’m very happy about that,” said women’s head coach Myisha Cutrona.
    “I’m excited that we accomplished our goal of winning our conference,” said men’s coach Angelo Cutrona.  “Going undefeated was not one of our goals when the season started.  It’s very rare in soccer because there are so many good teams, but as we got into the season we realized we had a good chance to do it and it became one of our goals.  It’s a huge accomplishment.”
    With the No. 1 playoff seed virtually locked up, the Cougar men will draw a bye when post-season action begins Saturday.
    That has their coach a bit worried.
    “I’ve been watching a lot of Division I soccer,” he said.  “Teams with a first-round bye always get off to a slow start.  We know we have to prepare ourselves.  We know we have to do some things to stay sharp, so we’re going to try to create game-type conditions during practice.”
    The women, meanwhile, are currently ranked 13th in northern California.  That should be good enough to get into the 16-team playoff field.
    “It looks like we would play Sierra,” Myisha said.  
    Sierra is in Rocklin, near Sacramento.  The Wolverines are No. 4 in NorCal.
    TC finished the regular season 9-8-3.  Sierra is 13-5-3.
    In the conference finale, Mandy Lopez scored both Cougar goals off passes from Joanna Espinoza and Daisy Guitron.
    Page 2 of 2 -  Goalie Angie Garcia had 11 saves against the high-scoring Rams.
    “Angie had a phenomenal game,” Myisha said.
    In the men’s conference finale Oscar Barrientos scored two goals while Julio Lopez and Roberto Mariscal had one each.
    Omar Aguilar had two assists.  Ramiro Barraza and Andy Reyes had the others.
    Goalkeeper Roberto Gonzalez had two saves in 60 minutes of work while backup Ivan Sanchez had one over the final 30 minutes.

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