CCSF men, women soccer teams chasing state titles

Eric Sun/Special to The ExaminerCoast Conference Most Valuable Player

City College of San Francisco has been known for its high level football and basketball programs, but the depth of the sports program goes deeper than that.

This weekend, the men’s and women’s soccer teams take center stage at the California Community College Association Championships, which will be played at Consumes River College.

On the men’s side, they advanced to the Final Four with a 3-0 victory over Foothill College on Saturday.

The men’s soccer team is seeking its first state championship since 1961.

“City College has always been a place where the state championship is always the goal,” coach Adam Lucarelli said.

“Football, basketball, track, soccer and even badminton, it’s a high expectation. The coaches around here talk about winning state championships, where other schools set the goal of making the playoffs. None of the coaches here are satisfied with conference championships.”

The difference makers for the Coast Conference North Champions have been backline defender Cameron Leaver, midfielder Alfredo Castaneda and Jaime Barragan.

Lucarelli will lean on that core when the Rams oppose undefeated Mt. San Antonio (21-0-3), which won the state championship last season.

“Without a doubt, Mt. SAC is the team to beat, and they are good year in and year out,” Lucarelli said. “On the other hand, our guys are full of confidence and we don’t feel like we’re coming in as a huge underdog. We’re going into the match loose and excited.”

The transformation of the women’s soccer program has been nothing short of remarkable.

Third-year coach Gabe Saucedo has turned a once laughingstock program into a team that can no longer be taken lightly.

Saucedo has led the women’s team (20-1-2) to back-to-back Coast Conference championships, the first conference championships in the history of the school.

“When I got the job, I wanted to make sure that we gave the players a comprehensive experience,” Saucedo said. “We wanted to not only work on their ability, but also their tactical awareness, strength and conditioning, and we wanted them to watch a lot of film to show them what was going on.”

Coast Conference Most Valuable Player, sophomore Tera Piserchio, has been one of the key players for the Rams. The sophomore has scored 19 goals on the season with 11 assists.

Saucedo also talked highly of midfielder Yvette Flores, and team captain Gail Bassett, who has been a vocal leader for the Rams since she transferred from Cal-State East Bay.

“Tera has had an unbelievable two years here at CCSF and the thing I’ll remember about Tera is her level of commitment and work ethic, which makes her a special player,” Saucedo said.

Lucarelli and Saucedo both are happy to have led their teams to the Final Four, but like Lucarelli said, at CCSF, its “state championship or bust.”

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