Ryann Abeyta heads for the ball during the Feather River College women’s soccer game against Yuba on Sept. 17. Abeyta became the leading scorer in California after scoring a hat trick against Contra Costa on Sept. 20. Photo by Toni Williams
Both Feather River College men’s and women’s soccer teams lead the Golden Valley Conference so far this season. Both teams propelled themselves into a slew of matches, getting as much time on the field as possible before conference play.
The men’s team is playing steadily and well with a 6-3-1 overall record at the time of writing. The women’s team is excelling beyond expectations with a 6-2-1 record. Last year the men’s team won the Golden Valley Conference, but the women’s team struggled through the season.
“Depth is really what makes this year’s team stand out,” commented FRC’s coach, Don Williams. “An example is we had one of our leading strikers (Kayla Irmen) injured, but we had someone else to step right in and take her place without losing any quality of the team.”
The women’s team started its season against Yuba on Aug. 31, winning 4-0. Since then the team played eight more matches, losing only one. American River, though out-shot 25-5, squeaked out a 1-0 win Sept. 10.
Last week, FRC’s women started with another victory over Yuba on Sept. 17. The women’s team then went on to play two games back to back. On Sept. 19, the lady Eagles fell 4-1 to Sierra, but bounced back and beat Contra Costa 4-2 the following day.
Against Contra Costa, Ryann Abeyta scored her second hat trick of the season. These goals boosted Abeyta to the top, making her California’s leading scorer with 20 points on nine goals and two assists this season.
The men’s team is still doing well, though it hit a few bumps along the way. The FRC men won the majority of their games, but lost 3-1 against Fresno, 1-0 to American River and 2-1 against De Anza.
“I think (the men’s team) is doing OK,” said Williams. We have a bit of an identity crisis we’re trying to work out. We’re still trying to figure out who we are as a team: working out our chemistry.”
The men’s team has already played 10 matches this season, averaging one every two days; the most number of games in Northern California. All its games have been on the road, as well, exhausting the team.
Despite the exhaustion, the team went into its conference play with three straight wins. On Sept. 14, FRC beat Las Positas 2-1. FRC then took down Yuba 1-0 Sept. 17 and Contra Costa 1-0 Sept. 20. These wins rocketed the Eagles to the third spot in the Northern Region rankings.
The men’s team started its conference play Sept. 24 at home against Lassen. The women play Sept. 27 at the College of the Redwoods. Now that conference play has started, FRC will stay home for a lot more matches this season. A report on the matches will be in next week’s Sports and Recreation section.