SAN JOSE, Calif.- The Cosumnes River women's soccer team enters the week ranked #17 in the nation according to the latest NSCAA rankings, and looks to improve upon that mark this afternoon when the team takes on Evergreen Valley College on the road. The Hawks, standing at a record of 3-1-1, have an uphill battle however due to injuries.
"Unfortunately we are limping into this game… (we) have a few key injuries," said 10-year veteran head coach Cesar Plasencia. "Training has been difficult because I have so many players out." CRC is coming off what has been a brutal preconference schedule thus far, one that has seen the Hawks take on three top-10 ranked opponents in their last four games. Cosumnes River is 3-1 in those matches however with their only loss coming to defending state champion, and top-ranked, Cerritos College.
The schedule has taken its toll, as CRC looks to be shorthanded once again when they head to San Jose today to take on Evergreen Valley. Coach Plasencia still has confidence in this group's depth however, given their ability to defend at a high level. "We will not make any excuses," said Plasencia about his team's injuries. "We have to find a way to get through with a 'W'."
Evergreen Valley, the defending Coast Conference-South division champions, enters the match with a record of 3-0-1. The Hawks currently lead their conference standings, as CRC looks to hand EVC their first loss of the season. EVC is coming off a 2-0 victory over Solano on September 6, but has been idle since then. They should be rested and refreshed for this match against CRC, their only match of the week. Cosumnes River played Solano to a 0-0 draw in their season opener back in August.
CRC will once again look to sophomore forward Vilma Gonzalez to provide them with a spark offensively. Gonzalez (pictured right) was recently named CRC's Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of September 8-14.
Gonzalez helped lead the Hawks to a victory over visiting Butte College last week in the team's only match, a 4-2 win at home. She scored two goals in the contest despite only seeing action in the first half, to pace the CRC offensive attack. Gonzalez was also the only Hawk player to score a goal in the team's narrow 2-1 loss to defending state champion Cerritos the week before.
The sophomore forward from Rio Americano currently leads the team in goals with three, as well as overall points with nine. Her .333 shooting percentage is good for fourth on the team, and Gonzalez has also started every match for the Hawks at forward. The Hawks are currently ranked 12th in the latest CCCAA rankings.
CRC will be idle until next Tuesday, when they take on Santa Rosa JC on the road in their Big 8 conference opener (Sept. 24). The Hawks will return home on the 27th of this month when they play host to Modesto JC in their conference home opener.