Last season, Petaluma High's soccer Trojans missed qualifying for, and making, the North Coast Section playoffs by one win. With 13 seniors, most returning from that team, the playoffs are not only a possibility, but a probability for a much improved team.
As of last week, the Trojans had an 8-4 overall record and were 4-1 in Sonoma County League play, with their only loss in league to currently SCL unbeaten Healdsburg, 2-1. Included in their wins was a big 1-0 victory over perennial power Analy.
Leading the veteran group for coach Greg Lamansky's Trojans are senior captains Luc Rivetti and Tobin Gutermuth, who are not only skilled players, but steadying influences with their consistent play. Their defense was key in the win over Analy. Another key defender is senior Jake Wichmann.
Sophomore Tarwinder Purewal and junior Francisco Guerrero join seniors Sean Parratt and Jaz Gonzales to form a sold midfield. Purewal made a strong impression as a freshman varsity player last season. Guerrero scored the only goal in Petaluma's big 1-0 win over SCL powerhouse Analy. Gonzales is back with the team after missing last season while he studied in Denmark.
Up front are junior Oliver Barajas, DeClan Villa and seniors Griffin Carey, Rogelio Brambila and Virgilio Amador.
Senior Ricky Singelton has some big shoes to fill as he follows all-leaguer Patrick Rabbitt in goal, but thus far has done an excellent job. "He has saved us on a number of occasions," says Lamansky.
The coach said one of the big reasons for the team's success has been its pressuring defense, not just in the back, but all over the field.
The Trojans have generally played well in league after an uneven pre-league season.
"At times we have been stellar, then at other times it was like, &‘Who are these guys?'" Lamansky observed.
The coach said the changes in the SCL with Casa and Windsor moving out doesn't seem to have had a major impact.