Grizzlies positioned for postseason

The winter sports season is  wrapping up and NCS playoff decisions are right around the corner.

There were many ups and downs for the five winter teams this season, but all still have a shot at qualifying for postseason. NCS decisions were made Sunday before The Californian went to press.

Men’s Soccer

Cal’s strongest team this season is the men’s soccer team, which  sits in second in EBAL and is a lock for the NCS playoff with a 12-4-5 overall record, 7-2-2 in league.

Senior Noah Nguyen credits much of the team’s success to the coaches.

“Our coaches do an excellent job preparing us for the teams we play against because they do their research,” Nguyen said. 

This has allowed the team to thrive in big games, such as  Cal’s opening 2-0 win over De La Salle. 

Nguyen said most of the players are on the same club in the offseason, so they already have good chemistry with each other.

“The comradery amongst our team is huge,” Nguyen said. “The feeling that these are my brothers and I would do anything for them on and off the field drives us.”

Confidence is high amidst the team, as Nguyen says they see themselves going all the way to the NCS finals.

Women’s Soccer

This year every women’s soccer team in NCS will qualify for the playoffs because of the effects of COVID-19.

Cal is in seventh in EBAL, with a record of 4-6-4, 3-5-2 in league. But with the way COVID has changed the way sports have been played, the team is still proud of their season.

“We have had a good team environment which has led us to success,” junior Jasmine Lanza said.

Because many players missed time because of COVID, Cal’s expectations were not as high. 

“I feel like everyone improved a lot this season and we grew together as a team,” Lanza said. 

She is optimistic the experience this season has brought to the team has set them up for success in the coming years.


While the wrestling teams have dealt with their fair share of COVID struggles, they have continued to fight hard to represent the Grizzlies well.

Despite COVID issues, not a single tournament has been canceled, senior team captain Josh Peralta said. 

All three members of the women’s varsity team will make NCS, including sophomore Brook Ironside, and seniors Tina Zeng and Ella Hofer.

Two members of the men’s team are set up very well for NCS. Peralta is ranked seventh in NCS at 120 pounds, and junior Preston Trager is ranked 15th at 130 pounds. Peralta is confident in his and Trager’s ability to place high in NCS.

“I don’t wanna make any assumptions, but I plan to get top eight, so does Preston,” Peralta said. “We want to stand on the podium of top eight.”

The team saw a lot of turnover this year after starting out with between 45 and 50 members and ending the season with 16, Peralta said.

“People lose and they don’t want to come back,” Peralta said. “It’s a tough sport, I mean, we run up to three miles a day in practice.”

Through all of this, Peralta said the team has managed to keep their heads up and keep on competing.

“We’re wrestlers,” Peralta said. “It’s what we do.”

Men’s Basketball

The Grizzlies had an up-and-down season, but at the finish line they are in position to possibly make NCS. The team is 13-11, 4-5 in league, good enough for eighth in EBAL.

The team has a rotation mostly composed of juniors, with the seniors taking more backseat leadership roles. The team also features two underclassmen, sophomore G2 Tom and freshman Justin Hampton, who was called up midseason.

“Something that contributed to the team’s success was good role models,” senior Aaron Taniguchi said. “For example, [senior] Jeren [Cuenco], works hard and always finishes conditioning first.”

On paper, the team has a lot of talent, Taniguchi said. There are a lot of players who are very skilled and can contribute a lot on the court, but the teamwork isn’t always there.

“We can win games in the playoffs because we have a good amount of talent,” Taniguchi said. “But in some situations our plays become one-on-one basketball and people kind of start to get selfish which hurts our offensive efficiency.”

Taniguchi believes improving the team’s cohesiveness will be key to achieving their goals in NCS should they make it.

Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball team is 13-12, 5-5 in league, and is ranked fourth in EBAL. Their chances to make NCS are unclear, but the team is hopeful.

This story of this year’s team is the inclusion of many underclassmen, as the team features three freshmen and four sophomores.

“The freshmen stepping up and everyone giving it their all every game helped a lot,” senior team captain Kelly Tumlin said.

Tumlin made quite an impact in her last season playing for Cal as well, reaching both the 1,000 and 1,500-point milestones. She also reached the 40-point mark in a game against Foothill on Jan 27. It was her career high.

“I’m gonna try and play in college,” Tumlin said. “I’m doing everything I can to get there.”