Sam Carney, Max Levin, Voja Maric, Jack Merrifield, Andrew Sinaw, and Radmer Van Der Heyde, all residents of Carmel Valley, are part of the Pacific Ridge side that two weeks ago defeated Calvin Christian in the Division 5 CIF soccer finals to make sure that the title stays in Pacific Ridge for another year.
Last year PRS defeated Borrego Springs in a thriller that went into overtime and penalty kicks. This year PRS had an almost unchanged team from last year, and that experience and depth proved too much for the young Calvin Christian side. Calvin had its probably best scoring opportunity in the first minute of the game, but did not manage to convert the ball that was dangerously loose in the PRS penalty box. After that PRS took over, and the game ended 4 – 0 in favor of PRS.
People often mistake the division number to mean less quality, whereas it denotes the school size. In fact, this year in the preseason PRS played some big soccer schools like Escondido. “We lost but were never outplayed says PRS co-captain”, senior forward, Voja Maric.
Voja who scored 99 goals for Pacific Ridge in his four years playing varsity, will continue playing soccer in Pomona College where he hopes to be able to bring the same level of success as he did to PRS. “I see Pomona as a NCAA Division 3 champion, why not?” says Voja.
PRS soccer program started only few years ago, but it brought together a group of soccer players from SDSC, Lightning, Surf, Sharks and Attack who, under guidance of Coach Boyett, quickly formed a well organized, dynamic team. Some of the players could also have gone to play USSF Academy but that would mean not playing for the high school.
“There is no experience like playing for your high school team”
is the usual comment.
During the playoffs the SDSC coach Mike Lopez came to watch his players. Even if not on the sidelines coaching Mike’s presence gave an additional boost to the players.
“It is always great to see my boys compete one against the other. I know a lot of club soccer coaches don’t come to high school games, but I believe that club soccer and high school club can complement each other,” says Lopez.
PRS advanced to the Southern California Region Playoffs where it was finally stopped in the semi-finals game against the overalls winners, Animo Charter from LA South Bay – a team consisting mostly of Pateadores Academy players.