Castle Park captures El Capitan Lady Vaquero Classic title

The Castle Park High School girls soccer team captured their division with a 4-0-1 showing at this year's El Capitan Lady Vaquero tournament. Facebook

The Castle Park High School girls soccer team kicked off its season with a 7-3 win at UCSD Preuss on Dec. 7, then dropped a 3-0 decision to visiting Mar Vista on Dec. 10.

The Lady Trojans gave themselves a well-deserved Christmas present by bouncing back with a 4-0-1 showing to capture the El Capitan-Lady Vaquero Classic.

Castle Park opened tournament play Dec. 13-14 with a 3-1 win over Mount Miguel, a 1-1 tie against Calexico and a 3-0 win over Imperial.

The Lady Trojans (5-1-1) swept both their playoff games last weekend to match the tournament championship they won in 2017.

Alayla Navarro scored all three goals in the win over Mount Miguel, then added a goal in the tie against Calexico. Paulina Servin scored two goals and Aurora Segura headed in a corner kick to carry the team past Imperial to close out pool play.

Servin, Segura and Navarro all had four goals through pool play.

Castle Park’s Aurora Segura tallied three goals and two assists in a 7-3 season opening win over UCSD Preuss. Photo by Phillip Brents

Getting their kicks
Castle Park returns four starters from last season’s team, led by four-year varsity returners Navarro and Maday Pablos.

Segura, another key player for the team, netted three goals and two assists in the season opening win over Preuss.

“Aurora is always active around the goal, likes to take on defenders one-on-one, and has a good finish on goal,” the CP coach said.

The rest of the team is either new to varsity or players who didn’t start last year, so head coach Victor Vargas admitted he was not quite sure what to expect this season.

He did know the team has a unique personality, though.

“They are eager to learn, they work hard, and don’t give up,” Vargas said. “I told them that organization will win us one game this year, fitness will also win us one game this year and that set plays — corner kicks, free kicks, throw-ins — can also win us a game or two. Luck can also win us a game.

“I told the girls that we will try to compete for league and also earn a spot in CIF. League contenders will always be Mater Dei Catholic and Hilltop. Because we didn’t qualify for CIF in Division III last year, our target this year will be to compete for a banner.

“I think that playing Division IV is an appropriate division for us in relation to other schools our size regarding student enrollment. In six years that I have been here the only two years that we moved up to Division III we didn’t qualify for CIF. The year after we won CIF in Division V (2015), we moved up to Division IV and made it to the semis, and then moved up to Division III and didn’t qualify for CIF.

“I am hoping this year will be a surprise year for all us, but in a good way, of course.”

Castle Park has a busy schedule with games in the SoCal Classic tournament in Oceanside following the Christmas holiday. The Lady Trojans were scheduled to play Fallbrook and two teams from the Los Angeles area: Flintridge Prep and Western Christian.

Castle Park kicks off South Bay League play Jan. 8 at Sweetwater.