“Every year it’s the same,” ACHS head coach Jesus Duran said. “We have three powerhouses in our league with Oxnard, Channel Islands and Pacifica. Every year, one of those three schools wins the league title. We want to change that trend.”
The Scorpions haven’t won the PVL crown since 2007.
Camarillo, however, did end its postseason drought last year after advancing to the playoff for the first time in four years.
The Scorpions lost half their starting lineup from last year’s squad, but with a mix of veterans and newcomers, the team remains optimistic about returning to the playoffs and contending for a league crown.
ACHS defeated University 3-0 in the wildcard match of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. The Scorpions fell to the top seed Warren 3-2 in the first round.
Four teams in the PVL are ranked in the top 10 for the Division 3 coaches’ poll.
The defending league champions, Channel Islands, sit at No. 3, Rio Mesa is No. 4 and Oxnard and Pacifica are tied for seventh.
The Scorpions aren’t worried about rankings.
According to Duran, this is one of the strongest teams he’s had in his eight years at Camarillo.
The Scorpions have six players who suit up for club teams that participate in the Premier League, the highest form of competition in high school club soccer.
Before last season’s turnaround, Camarillo repeatedly finished las t in the league standings.
“We used to be the laughingstock of the league, but we’ve been competitive the last few years,” Duran said. “No one takes us lightly anymore. We don’t have the top-notch caliber players like other PVL schools, but we always compete and never back down.”
Camarillo started the season with three straight wins but recently hit a rough patch.
The Scorpions compete in the Buena Tournament on Thursday and open PVL league play Thurs., Jan. 3 at home against Oxnard.
Senior forward Carlos Tiscareño leads the team in goals scored. He’s a dangerous striker that can penetrate his way to the box.
Sophomore midfielder Daniel Zamorez is the quarterback on the pitch. Zamorez can create offensive plays with his crisp passes, and he can drop back to protect the net.
“Daniel Zamorez is only 5-foot-5, but he plays like he’s 6 feet tall,” Duran said. “He’s only a sophomore, but he’s already a big part of our team.”
Senior Jesus Valdez has stepped up at midfielder.
Valdez, a first-year starter, said he’s received interest from the University of Illinois at Chicago to play collegiate soccer.
A Camarillo captain, Valdez said the team has plenty of chemistry on the pitch.
“I’ve played with these guys for many years on the Camarillo Eagles,” Valdez said. “We know each other’s games very well. We play together pretty much all year.”
Valdez is a member of Operation Smile and the Kiwanis Club on campus. He aspires to be a doctor.
Senior defender and midfielder Matthew Lariviere tore his ACL in April while playing a match for the Camarillo Eagles.
Doctors told him it would be a 10-month recovery and he would be out half the high school soccer season.
Lariviere wasn’t going to sit out his senior year. “It was very hard not being able to play soccer,” said Lariviere, who played on the ACHS boys’ volleyball team. “It’s what I love to do. I’m ahead of schedule because I worked hard to recover.”
Lariviere, an All-PVL firstteam selection last season, started the season only playing 20 minutes per match. His playing time has increased to 60 minutes.
Giovanni Valdez, Keaton Ash, Daniel Perr, Moses Gutierrez, Karl Lind and William Huebner contribute for the Scorpions.
Ian Jones, Quentin Francis, Jordan Haliday, Matthew Lopez and Ismael Enriquez form a solid back line for Camarillo.
Junior Greg Ford is the starting goalkeeper.
Senior midfielder/forward Joel Gonzalez, an ACHS cross country star, said he expects another postseason run.
“It was great proving last year that we were a playoff team,” Gonzalez said. “I know this team can do it again. We lost a lot of talent, but we have many talented players that are ready to step up.”