Dakotah Ybarra is pretty good at soccer, I guess.
Ybarra has scored 30 goals and tallied 13 assists. He has a season total of 73 points which, by far, is the most in the WYL, and ranks 7th in the state of California. He has tied the school record with 30 goals, and he’s only a junior. With one of the top ten offensive threats in the whole state, the Miners are bulldozing their way through league play, and are in prime position to take control of the WYL.
After shutting out Redwood 3-0 on Wednesday night, the Miners have taken sole control of first place in the WYL. Although Redwood has one of the top scorers in the WYL with Alexis Cabrera, the Miners have a lot more depth and weapons on offense. That’s probably why other teams don’t have an answer for Dakotah Ybarra. If you take away Ybarra, other guys like Jacob Perez, Alex Saldana, and Jesus Garcia, just to name a few, are right there to pick up the slack. So just when you think that you’ve taken away their biggest threat, the Miners can counterpunch with an entire field of weapons to leave you scrambling and put you back to square one. With that kind of lethal combination, the Miners stand atop all of Division II with 91 total goals in just 21 games played (almost 4.5 goals per game). The closest team to them in that category, stands 37 goals behind with 54. But the Miners aren’t the kind of team that just relies on their offense. They don’t have to score five goals every night just to stay afloat. Oh no, they’re much more than that.
The Miner defense has also been tremendous all season. The Miners have only yielded 20 goals into their own net, only Stockdale and Redwood have less. Just like I said about the girls’ team last week, the El D boys soccer team has every ingredient it needs to win a Valley title. The only thing that’s left is to mix them all together. No argument for a weakness can be strongly made them against them. But with that kind of title comes some pretty strong expectations. This is a team that is very capable of standing against the noise. In fact, they feed off of it. They know that they play for a school that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. No matter the numbers or record, doubters of the Green Sea will do whatever they can to work their way into the limelight. But if you ask any of the veterans on the roster, that’s what makes it so fun. Getting to prove everyone wrong is something the Miners use as momentum week in and week out.
Although the postseason has yet to arrive, people affiliated with Miner Soccer are counting down the days until they can seek redemption for what had happened to them in the Semi-Finals a year ago, when they lost to Golden West in a shootout. But just because they’ve done some serious damage this year doesn’t make them unbeatable. They’ll still have to stick to the formula that has carried them this far, because there will be some really good soccer teams standing in their way, Redwood among the most notable. No matter the final records, stats, or rankings, every game will be an absolute dogfight. But every dogfight isn’t decided by size or talent, it’s decided by the side with the most tenacity and heart. We call that dog the bulldog. The bulldog isn’t always the biggest or the fastest. It fights, it claws, and sometimes it’s even overlooked and discredited. Now, even though the boys in green are flooded with talent, Valley wins don’t come so easily. The bulldog doesn’t care about its opponent, it just goes out and grinds.
With that being said, there’s only one way the Miners can continue the stampede they’re on and compete for a Valley title, and it’s a very simple formula.
Be the bulldog.