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CB Women’s Soccer’s Historical Path To A NorCal Title

Desire. If you have ever attended a CB Women’s Varsity soccer game, then you are bound to hear this word at least once. Head Coach Rudy Ruvalcaba is infamous for his catchphrases, creating a welcoming environment out on the field for all his players.  Heading into the 2022-23 season, many players were unsure of what […]

Desire.

If you have ever attended a CB Women’s Varsity soccer game, then you are bound to hear this word at least once. Head Coach Rudy Ruvalcaba is infamous for his catchphrases, creating a welcoming environment out on the field for all his players. 

Heading into the 2022-23 season, many players were unsure of what to expect. After losing four seniors and other players deciding not to return, “we were unsure how that was going to affect the team dynamic,” says Peyton McDonald (‘23).

“But we bounced back.”

Rachel Davis exemplifying the team culture.

The team lost the Sac-Joaquin Section Title Championship last season to league rival Vista Del Lago in penalty kicks before being knocked out in the second round of CIF NorCal playoffs. 

But after the Lady Falcons returned from a preseason tournament in Newport Beach this past December, Coach Rudy had this funny feeling. “There was something special about this season”. He saw something in the team before they could see it in themselves. Clearly, he was right because they won what he calls the “treble”. The perfect trifecta: winning league, the Section Title, and for the first time ever in program history, the NorCal State Championship. 

Collectively, the talent on the team is unmatched. From the seniors to the juniors and sophomore Bailey Rakela (‘25), the team dominated in games while also enjoying the time spent out on the field. “I looked forward to practice everyday,” says forward Lily Jensen (‘23)

Being part of the team myself, I have been able to witness the special dynamic of this team. It is quite a big family consisting of 19 players and three coaches, but everyday the players are happy to be out on the field together. “We are definitely a family”, says goalie Grace Bettencourt (‘23). “We will give each other a hard time but in the end we will support each other”.

The team grinds. With 10 seniors on the team, many of the girls came out wanting to win. They wanted to win the section and they wanted it bad. But they never expected going further than a section crown.

“I thought we would make it to sections but I didn’t expect to make it all the way to winning NorCals” says junior starter Rachel Davis (‘24). The team did the unexpected and exceeded everyone’s expectations. 

The last league home game for the seniors.

“It’s the hard work and the perseverance and the resilience and the strength that you fight for the entire season and that is exactly what this team did,” claims Assistant Coach Mrs. Lexi Sakurada ‘15 who is a former Section Title Champion herself. She understands what it is like to be the player on the field and always checks in on the human too. She says the one word she would use to describe this Women’s Varsity Team is resilient. 

The NorCal Championship Game against Cardinal Newman was intense. Conceding a goal in the first six minutes of a game was definitely a blow to the team’s confidence as it was the first goal against the Lady Falcons in seven games. Grace remembers “it was a mental shock”.  However, in the last 20 minutes, captain Brooklyn Horst (‘23) scored a goal right inside the 18 yard box to tie it up. 

The team celebrates with their NorCal Title banner.

Many players had their doubts going into the final game because everyone understood it would be the hardest game of the season. The team knew that this game could have gone both ways, but in the end, after five rounds of penalty kicks and one awesome save from Grace, Christian Brothers came out on top.  “We didn’t give up”, Brooklyn said.

“We are history,” Lily said happily. “This was perfect”. From every team huddle, tackle, goal, save, foul, and of course the numerous yellow cards, the Women’s Varsity Team did something incredible. 

I am proud of all of my teammates. It was not easy, especially with the injuries we played through, but we all wanted to finish the last game of the season. I am sad to leave Christian Brothers soccer behind, but I know that we will all remember this huge accomplishment.

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