The champion Temecula Valley High School soccer team will receive awards and rings at a summer banquet. Their coach is focusing on 2023.
TEMECULA, CA — The 2022 California state champion TVHS Golden Bears girls soccer team will cap their dream season with a summer banquet, but their coach is already eying 2023 — and thinks their team will enter next season with a target on their backs.
The banquet, set for July 5, comes after Temecula Valley High School (24-1-1) defeated the San Marcos Knights 4-1 to claim the title of state champions. A venue for the team's CIF banquet will be announced at a later date. The
As Temecula Patch previously reported, the state title added to the team's impressive resume for the year, which included victories in the Best in the West Tournament, an undefeated — and fifth consecutive — Southwestern League victory, and CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship.
It also comes after the LA84 Foundation announced its 2021-22 girls soccer All-CIF Southern Section selections, with senior midfielder Natalie Mitchell winning player of the year, and Jennifer Guinn winning coach of the year. Four Golden Bears — three seniors and a junior — were named to the All-CIF team: Mitchell, forward Kate Jacobsen, midfielder Peyton Bundy and defender Zoe Willis, a junior.
Guinn told Patch in a statement she was honored to hold the title of coach of the year, and said it felt "surreal." She felt thankful to be surrounded by amazing staff and student-athletes who bought in and shared her winning mindset.
"I feel as though winning the titles with the girls and my coaching staff was an amazing accomplishment in itself, and will forever be etched in my heart," Guinn said. "The award is just the cherry on top."
Temecula Valley was led by top-scorers Mitchell and Jacobsen, both captains who blasted 35 and 23 goals, respectively, according to MaxPreps. The duo also led the team in assists with 15 and 20, respectively.
Guinn described Mitchell as a "selfless teammate" with an incredible work ethic and ability to lead.
"Her consistent performance on the field was something that not many coaches get to experience," Guinn said. "Working with her and supporting her was a privilege in every way."
Mitchell told Patch in a statement she was "extremely honored and thrilled" to win the award, but said her greatest goal was "always to win CIF and State."
"I truly do believe that being able to play with this team my senior year was the greatest gift and privilege," Mitchell said. "I owe a lot of my success to them and am extremely thankful for receiving this award."
Jacobsen, meanwhile, leaves behind an enviable legacy of her own.
"She has put four years into this program earning big honors every season," Guinn said.
A captain for two years, Jacobsen led with selflessness and passion, Guinn said. Particularly this season.
"Her maturity and desire to make history was something that I know will carry into TVHS girls soccer's future legacy setters," Guinn said. "She set the bar high and rose in every way to make this final season of her soccer career memorable and I am so proud of her. "
For Guinn, several moments stuck out in the memorable season.
She highlighted Bundy's Semi Golden Goal moment, which was "so emotional and exciting for everyone." Bundy was the team's quiet leader this year, Guinn said, a consistent performer both offensively and defensively, who was always available to chat.
"I cannot think of a better person to have earned the golden goal moment in the CIF SEMI against Los Al," Guinn said. "She was knocking on the door all season to score big goals and this one was the BIGGEST."
Other memorable moments that stuck out to the coach:
But for Guinn, those cherished memories represent only the on-field accomplishments. She loved every Saturday pregame preparation and all the office pre-game work.
"I am so grateful for my amazing coaching staff, and all the soccer families that pulled together to contribute to this team's success. I believe we all represented our theme of the year which was 'UBUNTU,' which means 'I am because you are.'"
Guinn is already thinking about next year. For starters, the team now has a target on its back — opposing teams will almost certainly circle their calendars for their meetings with the defending champion Golden Bears.
The coach is also excited to see how the new seniors will lead the team.
"It is something that is always so fun. The growth, the determination, the winning mindset, the challenge to make history," she said.
That includes Willis, the only Golden Bears junior to be named to the All-CIF team.
Willis, a "defender that every coach dreams to have on the backline," was another quiet leader on the team this year. She uses great vision to stop offenses coming in her direction and sees her job as a responsibility to keep the team in the game. While quiet, Willis was a vocal leader before games, during half times and after games.
It's an area Guinn saw her improve upon over the course of the season, and she looks forward to seeing Willis lead the team next year as they try to repeat.
"I can only imagine her on the pitch her senior year," said Guinn. "I know she will rise to the challenge of the target that will be placed on our backs and I am excited to watch her go after her senior year."