Boys' soccer roundup, 2/1: Streaking ‘Catz crack state’s top 15

Watsonville celebrates Jael Leal’s goal during the first half of Monday night’s PCAL-G game against Alvarez at Emmett M. Geiser Field. — Tony Nunez/Register-Pajaronian

The Watsonville Wildcatz continued their climb after scoring a 2-0 win over the Alvarez Eagles on Monday night at Emmett M. Geiser Field.

Watsonville moved up to 15th in the state, according to MaxPreps’ rankings, and made its debut on Top Drawer Soccer’s Winter FAB 50 national rankings after beating Alvarez. Sophomore Jael Leal and junior Eric Vasquez each scored a goal to help the ‘Catz improve to 11-1-3 overall and 4-0-1 in Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan division action.

Watsonville was ranked 45th in the most recent FAB 50 rankings, which the website releases every Tuesday.

Watsonville also recently moved up Top Drawer Soccer’s state rankings, which are released every Monday. The ‘Catz climbed to 19th in the state, improving on their ranking from last week by one spot. Watsonville made its debut on the website’s state rankings on Dec. 31, coming in at 28th, and have steadily ascended since the start of the new year.

Watsonville is undefeated in its last nine games, and has thoroughly impressed with three consecutive league wins.

It will put its winning streak on the line tonight against Soledad in a hotly anticipated battle between the top two teams in the PCAL-G.

The Aztecs have been the surprise of the league through the first half of the season. Last year’s Central Coast Section Division II runners-up currently sit in first place in the PCAL-G with a 5-1 record — they are 11-1-2 overall.

It will be the first meeting between Watsonville and Soledad since 2011-12. The ‘Catz won that game, 3-0.

First touch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at Geiser Field.

In other boys’ soccer action from Jan. 24-30:

At Pajaro Valley 3, Christopher 1 - The Grizzlies scored their third PCAL-Mission win of the season on Wednesday night in Watsonville.

Pajaro Valley (3-12-1, 3-8) plays at Palma today at 3:30 p.m.

At Aptos 5, S.L.V. 2 - The Mariners halted a three-game losing streak with a dominant Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League win on Wednesday night.

Aptos (4-8-4, 2-3-1) travels to Scotts Valley today at 3:30 p.m.

At Marina 7, St. Francis 0 - The Sharks were shut out in their PCAL-Santa Lucia loss on Tuesday.

At M.V.C. 0, P.C.S. 0  - The Mustangs played to a scoreless PCAL Santa Lucia division tie on Monday.

Ceiba 3, Oakwood 0  - The Spartans won their PCAL-Santa Lucia contest on Jan. 25.

Watsonville 3, San Benito 2  - Angel Luis Hernandez’s hat trick powered the Wildcatz to a PCAL-Gabilan win on Jan. 25.

Vasquez and Leal dished assists for Watsonville, while junior keepers Alfredo Ramirez (3) and Daniel Medina (2) combined for five saves in goal.

At M.V.C. 1, Seaside 0 - Johnny Brinton’s goal in the first half stood as the game-winner in the Mustangs’ PCAL-Cypress game on Jan. 24.

Austin Kilinski made the assist on the score.

LINE OF THE WEEK (Jan. 24-30)

Angel Luis Hernandez, Watsonville - Had a hat trick against San Benito on Jan. 25.

UPCOMING GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 1-7)

Watsonville vs Soledad; Jan. 1, 6:45 p.m. - The top two teams in the PCAL-Gabilan meet for a critical showdown at Geiser Field.

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