PREVIEW: SONOMA COUNTY SOL (HOME) VS. NORTH COUNTY BATTALION (AWAY)
Game Details: Saturday, July 16, 7:30 pm at Santa Rosa HS in Santa Rosa, CA
Ticket Details: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for ages 12 and under
Sonoma County Sol
The Sonoma County Sol have set the standard for consistency and success with seven conference titles, one national title, and two national title game appearances as part of their winning legacy.
The Sol advanced in the playoffs thanks to a 3-1 win over East Bay FC Stompers. Goals in that match came from Taylor Varnadore (2) and Nico Spann.
The Sol, a team that finished first in the conference with a record of 8-4-2, features a potent offense where 14 players scored during the regular season. The leader among the group is forward Diego “Toluca” Lopez with nine goals and five assists.
Outside back Nicholas “Ebby” Lombardi, who has played in the German fourth division, anchors the defense. Sean Taufer is a solid presence between the posts and finished with one clean sheet in the regular season.
Notable Quote: “It’s been a very different season for Sol than the last couple years. Several of our veteran players who brought us to our 2009 National Championship and two other appearances in the final have not been as present due to retirement, injury, and other life commitments. But tremendous contributions to the squad from young players like Noah Paravacini, Diego Looez, Marco Barragan and journeyman players like Nico Spann, Taylor Varnadore, and Brenton Frame stepping up to become team leaders on the pitch has led to another conference title for the Sol, bringing our total to seven. This bodes well for Sol for the future.” – Greg Volker, Sonoma County Sol President
North County Battalion
NC Battalion finished second in the Southwest Conference with a 7-2-3 record, earning them home field advantage in the first round of the conference playoffs. They will be a formidable foe thanks to a strong attack and a stingy defense.
North County made it to the second round of the playoffs with a 5-3 win over Deportivo Coras USA. The flurry of goals came from Nelson Pizzaro (2), Tim Roty, Esteban Reyes, and Justin Picou.
NC Battalion scored more goals (36) than any other team in the Southwest Conference. Eric Lopez is the clear leader in the NCB attack, finishing with nine goals and one assist in 11 matches.
Goalkeeper James Stroud is a strong presence in goal, finishing with 44 saves and a GAA of 1.48. He is joined in the defense by stalwarts Justin Picou (nine games) and Joe Shah (ten games).
Notable Quote: “For North County Battalion to have the extensive success both on and off the field in its first NPSL season in San Diego is wildly rare and refreshing. We have been able to achieve above and beyond our goals in creating a dynamic supporter experience and a very entertaining and exciting brand of soccer without all the politics that cloud the landscape. Our sponsors and community partners have been a tremendous support and we invite all of San Diego County to come and be united in supporting NC Battalion: a club for all San Diegans.” Jason Barbato, NC Battalion Owner