SOCCER NOTEBOOK: A.V. ROSTER THIN IN SPOTS.
The bench was a lonely spot during Antelope Valley's matches at last week's girls' soccer tournament at Lancaster High.
The Antelopes had just enough varsity players, 11, to compete in their pool-play matches against Villanova Prep of Ojai and Mammoth. A.V. always has battled depth problems, but even always-optimistic head coach Jason Treanor was discouraged.
Christmas holiday commitments took away five of the Antelopes' varsity players.
``It's frustrating for me. I have a lot of passion for the sport,'' said Treanor, who has hoped to get more commitment from his players. He spent Christmas with his family in Reno, Nev., flew home for the tournament and was to go back to visit with family after the tournament ended Friday.
``Sometimes, we have players that just don't show up. I can't get girls to always come to practice,'' he said. ``It's tough.''
Treanor can't afford to lose any players. Of an expected 14 returning players from last season, he had only eight come out for soccer again. His team has played admirably with a 7-5-2 record, but his expectations were for his team to contend for a playoff berth in the Golden League.
It's turned into simply having enough players to field a full team. Some of the Antelopes have been sick. One of his top veterans, forward Marissa Webb, is only about 70 percent with sprains in both ankles, and others have other school commitments that prevent them from giving soccer 100 percent.
``I've got to make do with the hand I've been dealt,'' Treanor said. ``A pair of 2's doesn't beat a full house or flush. And you can't bluff a lot.''
--Mixed results: The Golden League's top contenders, defending champion Quartz Hill and last season's runner-up Lancaster, ended their respective tournaments with promising results.
Quartz Hill, the defending Simi Valley tournament champion, was stunned by pool-play defeats to Granada Hills and Atascadero, teams that eventually played in the finals. The Rebels did bounce back with consolation wins over Thousand Oaks and Notre Dame.
Lancaster, led by MVP Kathleen Prieto, beat Sultana 3-0 to win its tournament. The Eagles and Rebels play in a Golden League opener Jan. 8.
Stephanie True and the Quartz Hill girls' soccer team plays Lancaster in a Golden League opener Jan. 8.
John Lazar/Staff Photographer