Taft College Cougars Men's Soccer
Taft College Cougars Men's Soccer

With a remarkable returning class, Taft College Men`s Soccer program is looking to carry on in the same fashion. With experience under the belt, the coaches are looking to bring in freshmen from Kern County to compliment their talents.

Taft College Men’s Soccer program has built a rich tradition of success under the helm of Coach Cutrona. Taft has won 1 State Championship, been to the State Finals 5 times, ranked top 10 in the nation 6 times, once finishing as high as #2.

Several soccer players have continued on to universities such as University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of California, Irvine; California State University, Los Angeles; University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, San Bernardino; California State University, Sacramento and California State University, Bakersfield. The coaching staff efforts are aimed toward those athletes who wish to continue both their athletic and academic careers at the university level. The men's soccer program is designed for those student athletes who believe that hard work and dedication is a means to success.

Cougar Volleyball Sweeps, While Soccer Teams Lose, Tie
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
October 5, 2016

Taft College teams played to a win, loss and tie this week with volleyball sweeping Reedley College, men’s soccer struggling to a scoreless tie with against West Hills-Lemoore, and women’s soccer losing to a Southern California power.

Sophomore outside hitter Virgie Salanoa-Sagaplolu had a big night Wednesday with 15 kills, 11 digs, and a block to lead the Cougars to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-17 sweep of visiting Reedley College in a Central Valley Conference match.

The Cougar defense was especially strong, allowing the Tigers to lead only briefly in the third set. The teams met early in the season in a tournament with TC winning in five sets.

“We’ve improved a lot since then,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy. “Reedley is a good team. We were expecting another close one.”

Janell Molina paced the solid defensive effort with 18 digs, followed by Payton Spragling (14), Salanoa (11) Jasmina Clayton (5), Christina Warner (2), Rachel Nance (2), and Makanalani Cardus-Kane (2).

Spragling tossed up 29 assists and Nance, Courtnie Perry, Salanoa and Spragling each blocked a shot.

Tonight: Cougars, currently in third place in the CVC at 5-1 (7-9 overall), will host College of the Sequoias (6-0, 9-3) in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center. First serve is at 6 p.m.

Sophomore midfielder Elena Marquez (East High) scored an unassisted goal to beat the clock as the first half expired but Los Angeles Pierce (6-2-1) came away with a 4-1 non-conference victory in a match played on the Brahmas home field. Pierce led 2-1 at halftime and had 13 shots on goal compared to TC’s nine. The Cougars are 2-5-2.

The men, meanwhile, played West Hills-Lemoore to a scoreless tie in Central Valley Conference match, the second conference tie a row and the fourth match in the last five matches. Statistics were unavailable.

Undefeated Fresno City College (2-0-1 CVC, 9-0-3 overall) ranked No. 3 in the state, sits atop the conference standings followed by College of the Sequoias (1-1-1, 5-4-1), Taft (0-0-2, 6-1-4), West Hills-Lemoore (0-0-2, 2-5-4), and Clovis (0-2, 4-5-2). The Cougars are ranked No. 7 in this week’s state poll.

Fall Sports Teams at Taft College had a Pretty Good Week
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
September 20, 2016

Fall sports teams at Taft College had a pretty good week.

The men's soccer team improved to  5-1 with two wins, and the volleyball team swept its first two Central Valley Conference matches. The only low note was the women's soccer team losing 2-0 to southern California powerhouse, Long Beach City College.

This weeks schedule:
Tuesday - men's soccer at Cerritos College
Wednesday - Volleyball vs Shasta and City College of San Francisco in a non conference round robin at CCSF
Friday - men and women's soccer play at home. Women play Antelope Valley at 1 pm; men play Oxnard at 4 pm. Volleyball is at Fresno City College, the No. 1 team in northern California and No. 3 in the state.

The Cougars got off to a good start in conference play, sweeping Merced on the road and Columbia at home.

"We played very well at Merced," said head coach Kanoe Bandy . "It was the first time this season that we played a complete game."

Sophomore outside hitter Virgie Salanoa-Sagapolu led the offense with 15 kills and contributed 10 defensive digs. Jasmina Clayton had four kills, Luse Lumas three, Payton Spragling and Courtnie Perry two.

Freshman Karlie Richardson sparked the defense with 19 digs, Janell Molina had 11, Lumas 10 and Sagapolu and Spragling seven each. Setter Spragling recorded 25 assists.

The scores were 25-18, 25-17, 25-20.

Bandy didn't think her team was as sharp against Columbia, a match the Cougars swept 25-16, 25-13, 25-13.

"We weren't real sharp," she said, "but it was nice to pull out a win when we weren't playing well. I was happy we could pull it off.

Sagapolu again paced the offense with 12 kills. Perry contributed nine and Molina, Clayton, Lumas and Makanalani Cardus-Kane all had two kills.

Molina had another solid effort on defense, leading the team with 20 digs.

"Janell is passing the ball very well," said assistant coach Lisa Borrecco, "and her consistency is improving."

Richardson had eight digs, Spragling seven, Lumas five and Christina Warner four. Clayton and Sagapolu each chipped in three.

Borrecco said Spragling, who had 20 assists, "is settling in and running our offense very well."

The men recorded two shutouts, beating Long Beach City College 1-0 on Tuesday and finishing off the week with a 3-0 win over Moorpark.

The lone goal against LBCC (0-5-2) was scored in the 20th minute when Jesus Vidal found the back of the net after taking a pass from Gonzalo Rolon.

TC scored three first half goals and the defenders took it from there in the shut out over Moorpark (1-4-1).

Isaac Campos, Miguel Cortez and Bryan Henriquez each scored a goal. Jovany Cachola, Fabian Roman and Marcos Moreno chalked up a save.

The Cougar women were done in by free kicks against Long Beach.

Katin Trowbridge got the first one in the 10th minute - a deep one that sailed into the net with surprising ease. Ten minutes later Julianna Carrillo poked one through to finish the scoring.

Taft College Sports Round Up

Taft Midway Driller
September 12, 2016

Taft College’s fall sports teams are gearing up for Central Valley Conference action as the non-league grind winds down.

Soccer and volleyball teams have home skirmishes this week. The schedule looks like this:

The Cougar men (3-1-0) and ranked No. 5 in last week’s state rankings, will enjoy the comforts of home when they take on Long Beach City College (0-4-1) today at 4 and Moorpark College (0-2-2) on Friday at 2 p.m. Both are non-conference matches.

The Cougar women will hit the practice field until Friday when they join the men with a noon match against Long Beach City College, the first of four consecutive home outings.

The men’s team defeated No. 14 Los Angeles Mission last Friday in Sylmar.

Christian Garcia, a freshman forward from Ridgeview High in Bakersfield, scored two unassisted goals to spark the win. The first came in the 28th minute and the second in the 75th minute to seal the victory.

Cougar goalkeeper Ricky Montoy stopped all three Mission shots on goal.

TC took six shots on goal – three in each half.

Both Cougar Soccer Teams Lose at Santa Barbara
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 8, 2016

SANTA BARBARA – Santa Barbara College proved to be a very stingy host when both Taft College soccer teams left the heat of the San Joaquin Valley Tuesday for the refreshing coolness of the Central Coast.

The Vaqueros completely stifled the Cougars, shutting out both teams.

The women played first and it wasn’t pretty: SBCC 6, Taft 0.Chloe Montano and Josefine Van Der Burg combined for four second half goals to make the match a runaway after the Vaqueros scored two goals in the first half.

The Vaqueros (2-1) out-shot the Cougars 16-0 in the first half and 25-3 overall with 15 shots on goal. Cougar goalkeeper was busy in the net, managing nine saves.

TC (0-2-1) will look for its first win today with a trip to Palm Desert where they will take on College of the Desert.

Men lose 1-0
The Cougar men, who went into the week ranked No. 10 in the nation, lost their first match of the season on a penalty kick by freshman Kevin Kwizera, who was knocked down in the box at the 29:38 mark and drilled a left-footed PK into the upper left for his second game-winning goal of the season.

The Vaqueros out-shot the Cougars 9-5 in the first half then played solid defense in the second half, holding TC to four shots while taking only two.

The men’s team also is on the road today, playing Los Angeles Mission in Sylmar.

On Tuesday they will host Long Beach City College at 4 p.m. on the Taft High field at Tenth and San Emidio. The Cougars have developed a rivalry with the Vikings, who are one of the powerhouses in Southern California.

Cougar Soccer Teams Split Season Openers
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
August 26, 2016

Taft College got its soccer season rolling at home last weekend with mixed results.
On Friday the Cougar men needed a second half comeback to defeat Allan Hancock College 3-2 while the women dropped a frustrating 2-0 decision to College of the Canyons on Saturday.

Both teams will try to improve this week but they’ll have to do it on the road Tuesday at El Camino College in Torrance. The women’s match will start things off at 2 p.m. with the men taking the filed two hours later.

Hancock started fast, scoring an unassisted goal by Miguel Gomez five minutes in.
It stayed that way until the 31st minute when Cougar sophomores Miguel Cortez (Arvin High) and Luis Martinez (Porterville) hooked up to tie the score.

Hancock’s Gomez sent a pass to Jorge Guzman in the 42nd minute to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead at the break.

The Cougars tied it again in the 57th minute when freshman forward Christian Garcia (Ridgeview) sent a pass that Jesus Vidal put into the back of the net.

Gonzalo Rolon (Bakersfield High) scored the game winner in the 69th minute on an unassisted goal.

Bad Luck
The season opener for the women’s team was a frustrating heartbreaker.

Neither team actually scored an offensive goal but Canyons took advantage of not one but two own-goals, indeed a rarity in soccer.

TC will try to get its offense in gear at El Camino

Cougar Soccer Looks to Improve off of Last Year
by Matt Henry
Taft Midway Driller
August 25, 2016

The last time the Taft College men’s soccer team last left the field, it was in a heartbreaking playoff loss. A majority of players will look to avenge that moment this season as they kick off a new season today against Allan Hancock College.

“We’re good,” said Taft College coach Angelo Cutrona. “We have a large returning class. We have some players with experience and know how that can lead the team.”

All totaled there are 20 players on the team this season with 12 or 13 of the being sophomores.

Last year Taft College went 13-6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Central Valley Conference. The Cougars opened the playoffs Feather River College in first round of the No Call Regionals.

“It left a sour taste in our mouths,” said Cutrona.

Despite the success, there were some things that tripped up the Cougars according to Cutrona.

“There were a few too many obstacles,” he said. “Those little things caught up to us last year. We’re more prepared, more experienced.”

One of the goals this season is to get off to a good start.

While majority if the players are sophomores, Cutrona likes how the freshman and sophomores are blending together.

“I like our team chemistry, seems like a great group of guys,” he said.

As a result of the experience, there is a larger expectation this year especially in a program that has been to the Final Four five out of the last ten years.

“We expect more from them this year,” said Cutrona. “It’s just getting our feet wet.”

Even though the Cougars have a veteran team, there are some things Cutrona is concerned about going into this season.

“Not knowing what to expect,” he said. “Now they just have to get game match experience. How they respond to the physicality and adversity within the matches.”

The Cougars will have an addition to their conference this year in Cerro Coso from Ridgecrest.

“I think our conference is getting more difficult,” said Cutrona. “I think we’ll be even more competitive than we’ve been.”

However, Cutrona expects a battle between Fresno, West Hills, and Taft College.

“You expect the three of us will butt heads and challenge for first place,” he said.

Game time for the Cougars opening match today is 4 p.m.

Directions to Taft Union High School Soccer Field from Southern California:

  • Take I-5 North
  • Merge on I-5 North
  • Take the 166 exit towards Maricopa/Taft
  • Turn left on 166
  • Turn right on California Street (Hwy 33)
  • After about 6 miles, take the left to stay on hwy 33
  • Turn right on 10th Street (light)
  • Go about a block and a half and the field is on your left behind Albertson's

  • Link to College : Area Maps