Winning the Western State Conference title has always been the main
goal for the Glendale Community College women's soccer program.
It is a goal that GCC has come close to achieving, taking second
each of the past two seasons.
With the return of nine players, led by 2003 All-WSC first-team
selections Anabel Cortez and Mary Lou Buchan, Vaquero Coach Jorge
Mena said he likes his team's chances of winning its first conference
"We have a good mix of older and younger players," Mena said.
"Anabel and Mary Lou are both great leaders and talented players that
we have back. The team has good chemistry, which will go a long way
Mena has not decided on who will start, but said that he will rely
on the Vaqueros' depth this season.
"I have never had a team with so many players that can
contribute," Mena said. "I am not used to it. We are an
offensive-minded squad and our numbers will help us in games."
GCC will have a strong crop of freshmen this season. Mena said he
will expect a lot from midfielders Roxanna Garcia, Edilma Perez,
forward Mayra Santiago and defender Erica Tobar.
"We [have] some great young players coming to the team," Mena
said. "Roxanna will play left midfield for us and has a good cross.
Edilma is also a midfielder and a tough player. Mayra gives us
"Erica also plays very physical."
Other players expected to contribute are Abby Castellon and Melody
Castellon graduated from Burbank High last year, and helped the
Bulldogs compete in the tough Foothill League.
Mawhinney, who will battle for the goalkeeping position, graduated
from Crescenta Valley in 2003.
L.A. Pierce College won the conference title last season, and the
Vaqueros are determined to keep their rival from repeating. GCC gets
its first crack at Pierce on Oct. 12.
The Vaqueros will also host Pierce on Nov. 8. In addition, GCC
will face strong challenges from College of the Canyons and
"Our conference is very strong and is tough to play in," Mena
said. "We want to win our conference and will have to beat schools
like L.A. Pierce College, College of the Canyons and Bakersfield
College to do that."
Mena said another important ingredient in GCC's future success is
its chemistry -- on and off the field.
"Our team really has good chemistry," Mena said. "The young kids
really get along with the old ones. They all want to win. I really
like this team. If this team stays healthy, I think that this will be
the year for us."
The Vaqueros open their season Tuesday against visiting Allan
Hancock College at 4 p.m. at the Glendale Sports Complex.