By Joseph Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Head Coach Venger leads his team of grinders into the second half of the season without their star player.
The Valley College women’s soccer team has kicked off its season with a 7-1-1 start but will have to find a way to keep the goals coming after losing a key player.
Head Coach Greg Venger started his sixth season at Valley and was looking for a great start after disappointing 2016 and 2017 seasons. This year he brought on a new assistant coach Melissa Fernandez and kept his longtime assistant Jose Leon. Since losing their star player due to a torn ACL, the women’s soccer team has not held back– it has only strengthened them.
“This team is filled with grinders,” Venger said. “They give me everything they got every game and every practice. I look forward to seeing how they continue to respond this season.”
Behind every successful team are solid assistant coaches and Venger has two: “My assistant coaches are a key to our success so far they help keep the team balanced and help run the practices very smoothly,” Venger said.
The first games went as planned as the Monarchs won their first six games of the season, outscoring their opponents 16-2. Venger said another factor in the team’s success is their possession time and the team’s offense and defensive balance.
After the fifth game of the season, Valley took a huge hit to its roster as they lost their leading scorer Nataly Vargas, a freshman forward out of Verdugo Hills High School to a torn ACL. She leads the team with six goals in their first six games.
“If we needed a goal she would score for us with 20 minutes left in the game and play defense the rest of the game and not allow anyone to score,” Venger said. “That’s how good she is.”
Valley will look to the whole team to replace the production of Vargas and keep the winning season.
The Monarchs will be starting a WesternState South conference play in a few weeks. They will go through a stretch of seven consecutive games against conference opponents. The winner of the conference will be headed to the playoffs and earn a shot at winning the state championship.
“We treat every game like it’s the same we come in with the same intensity and hit the spots from the game before,” Venger said.
Some of the games upcoming for Valley include contests against Bakersfield and Alan Hancock. Even though these three teams have a combined 7-12 record on the year, Venger knows the girls must stay focused and give everything they got in these games before the conference.
“In sports, anything can happen,” he said. “That’s why we love it we never know the outcome and I expect the team to give 100 percent and be exhausted after the game.”