By Marcus Tolero/Photo by Eric Sun
The CCSF Rams Soccer season is underway and after three strong performances by the Men’s Team, early signs point to what should be a successful season for the Rams.
The Rams start the season 2-1 with two 3-0 wins against Napa and Mendocino and last Saturday’s 0-1 loss to Lake Tahoe. Although the team is coming off a weekend loss, Head Coach Adam Lucarelli is encouraged by his team’s performance to start the new season.
“I think the start of the season has gone well. The last three games was a test for us to kind of gauge where we are versus other competition. Even though we lost against Lake Tahoe, I think we learned a lot and were able to evaluate our players against a tough opponent in Lake Tahoe. It was a tough playing environment because of the altitude, but it gave us a lot of good information about our team going forward,” Lucarelli said.
A big reason for the Rams’ early season success is due to the performances and play of their core of sophomores. Midfielders Gian Marco Zancanaro and Christian Carranza are the team’s leading scorers with three goals and two goals, respectively. Midfielder Kanata Ishida, the team captain, has also proved to be an invaluable asset to the team with his leadership. Along with Jonathan Hernandez, Bobakr Hussain, Ronald Renderos, and Raul Vasquez, the Rams have a group of players that have their eyes set on leading the Rams to the playoffs after a non-playoff appearance last year.
“I think the sophomores, especially Kanata and Gian Marco, have been great role models for the team. We’ve had a great training environment where guys are very disciplined and well-behaved. There’s not the usual distractions on the team, like there could be with a less-disciplined team. I’ve been very lucky. It’s like having several assistant coaches on the field,” Lucarelli said.
The defensive backline is anchored by a group of freshmen led by defenders Emmanuel Lara and Chris Finlez. In three games, the Rams stingy and suffocating defense has only allowed one goal. For Lara and Finlez, playing on the backline is something they had to adjust to coming into the season.
“They are playing out of their natural positions. Both have played center-mid positions, but they are sacrificing for this team. They are playing positions that wouldn’t have been their first choice, but they stepped up and volunteered to do it for the team. It’s been a great asset to us,” Lucarelli said.
The Rams’ next game is a Tuesday away match against a tough Santa Rosa Bear Cub team that is 4-0-1 on the season. In fact, the Bear Cub are coming off a 3-2 win against the same Lake Tahoe team that beat the Rams last Saturday.
“They are one of the few teams that are undefeated in the state. It’ll be another test for us,”
So far, the Rams are passing with flying colors.