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Lady Bruins Wrap Up Successful Soccer Season
At first glance, Riverbank High's 4-8 finish (fifth place) in the Trans-Valley League varsity girls soccer race has the look of a mediocre season.

But look again.

The four conference victories are the highest win total for any Lady Bruin team in school soccer history. They double Riverbank's combined TVL win total from the previous four seasons and point to good things ahead for first-year girls coach, Martin Gonzales.

"We will be even stronger next year," Gonzales said. "We had either zero or one league win (each year) in the last 10 years, and winning four is definitely a step in the right direction."

The Bruins closed the year with consecutive losses to Hilmar, Ripon and Hughson, but swept both Modesto Christian and Orestimba during conference play.

A lot of the success rallied around savvy defender Kaitlynn Deabenderfer, who made noise with resilient steals and pushes up field from the Bruins' side of the field.

She saw some spectacular midfield play from teammate Celina Lopez, whose strong leg led to a team lead in goals this season.

Gonzales said he was also impressed with steady improvements from Magdalena Gudino, who displayed some craft soccer resilience up the flanks this season.

He said most of the team saw some big improvements despite only half of the team ever competing in organized soccer before. He said about 90 percent of junior varsity players had also never played soccer before, and noted the full season should go a long way toward developing soccer talent within the student body.

"Considering the past seasons, you can safely say this is the best Riverbank High girls soccer team, and I think we are only going to improve," Gonzales said. "We finished above two teams in the league standings this year. We are not at the bottom of the pile anymore."