Yucaipa High School girls soccer coach Sarai Stamper considered this past season's Citrus Belt League so competitive that one loss could drop a team three spots in the standings. Her team finished second in league at 6-1-3. It lost in the first round of the playoffs at La Serna of Whittier, completing the season with a 16-5-5 overall record. Stamper said her team fought hard and worked well together in every game, “but in the end the team missed too many scoring opportunities.”
Stamper told of two graduating seniors who will play at Division 2 colleges next season. Captain, Kat Walker will play at Cal State Stanislaus. Three-year varsity forward Bethany Tee will play at Azusa Pacific University. Stamper did not achieve her goal of back-to-back CBL titles. However she did reflect on the success this season, including winning the Skyhawk Classic Summit Tournament. She listed other highlights like: the 5th annual girl's youth soccer clinic for the community; a great turnout for the alumni game; having 80 percent of the team earning scholar athlete awards for a 3.5 GPA or higher; and serving the Youth Hope Foundation (youthhope.org)for the 10th straight year.
“Our future looks bright,” said Stamper. “Our amazing JV team went undefeated for the season and won both tournaments under coach Paul Robles.” Varsity team scoring leader Leili Sanabia (13 goals 4 assists) and assist leader Makenzie Gilmore will be back for their junior seasons.
“ Most of the starting defenders and midfielders are also returning.” Stamper will have to replace senior goal keeper Tayler Naasz, who finished the season with 250 saves and 12 shutouts.
“The young women in this program are among the best and most talented athletes. I am proud to have the opportunity to coach such a great group of young women for a school and community that I love so much,” said Stamper.
YHS Softball Team comes back big to win season opener
Yucaipa sophomore pitcher Makenna Stuart limited Paloma Valley long enough until her team’s big bats came alive, equating to a 7-4 win in a game played as part of the Stu Pender Tournament in Corona. It took four runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth to pull out Yucaipa’s first win of the season.
YHS coach Stephanie Landavazo considered the game an eye-opener.
“I think it showed the girls there isn’t any team that is going to take us lightly.”
Paloma Valley jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Stuart then relieved last season's all-CBL pitcher Esperanza Coe and earned the win by allowing just four hits and a run over the final four innings.
“I told my girls there isn’t a team out there that can beat us, but we can definitely beat ourselves if we don't come ready to compete,” said Landavazo. Freshman Emma Martinez drove in two runs with a single and All-CIF second baseman Aneesa Arredondo went 2-for-3 with an RBI. All-CIF shortstop Sydnee Huff drove in a run and scored. Teammate Hailey Erickson doubled.