Strathmore Head Coach Hector Gonzalez has built an East Sequoia League dynasty in girls soccer, winning four straight league titles and six ESL championships since joining the league in 2008.
Before this year, Gonzalez had coached teams to Central Section titles in Divisions VI and V. And this season not only has he added another section title in Division IV to the resume, but his team became the first girls’ soccer squad from the Central Section to receive a top seed in the SoCal Regional playoff bracket.
Now that the Strathmore girls have taken care of business and reached the regional championship game, they have a chance to become the first soccer team from the Central Section to win a regional championship.
Eight teams from the Valley have reached the regional championship game before, and all eight have lost.
Last year the top-seeded Farmersville boys’ soccer team lost down in Southern California to St. Margaret’s in the Division III regional championships. In 2012 the Lindsay and McFarland boys’ soccer teams lost in Divisions II and III respectively. Buchanan’s boys lost in Division I in 2011, Bullard’s boys lost in Division I in 2009, and the Avenal boys’ team lost in Division III back in 2008. On the girls’ side, Division I Bullard and Buchanan lost in 2011 and 2009 respectively.
However, Strathmore has one thing to their advantage that the other teams representing the Central Section didn’t: home field advantage.
The top-seeded Lady Spartans will get to play in front of their hometown crowd, and No. 2 seeded Maranatha will have to make the trip from Pasadena.
At 23-2-1, Strathmore knows what it takes to win. At 23-6-2, Maranatha does as well.
Records and stats will mean little when the squad’s line up today at 4 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.
Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students.
Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2015 6:00 am
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