Sports & Recreation

Hollister girls soccer makes history

Balers complete a three-game run without allowing a goal.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Michael Koteles


In a first for Hollister High School, the girls soccer team won the CIF Northern California Division 5 regionals by defeating Lowell High School 1-0 on March 4. 

Freshman Zamaya Rivera scored the game’s lone goal with about 25 minutes left in the game.

Rivera chased down a ball just outside the penalty box that the Lowell defense had cleared, off a corner kick. After taking a touch to dribble away from a Lowell player, she made a 90-degree turn as she kicked the ball, which flew past the goalkeeper’s reach in the top right corner. 

The Balers did not concede a goal during its historic run, outscoring its rivals 15-0 and beating both Hamilton Union and Stone Ridge Christian 7-0 in the opening and semifinal rounds of the Northern California playoffs. 

Rivera led the Balers offense in the semifinal round, scoring the first two goals in the 13th and 19th minutes. Hollister had a 4-0 lead at halftime, and the two other goals were made by Jimena Heredia and Elyssa Hernandez—whose shot was from 35 yards out. Balers outshot the Knights 13-0 in the first half.

Hollister High hosting Stone Ridge Christian during the CIF NorCal regionals Division 5 playoffs. Photo by Michael Koteles.
Hollister High hosting Stone Ridge Christian during the CIF NorCal regionals Division 5 playoffs. Photo by Michael Koteles.

The Balers kept the pressure up in the second half, receiving goals from Sydney Stacy, Lauren Green and McKenzie Heckman in stoppage time.

In the opening game, played in pouring rain, Hollister defeated Hamilton Union with an early goal. Trinity Arias scored on a penalty kick about 10 minutes into the game. That gave Hollister plenty of momentum and the goals continued in after that.

As was the case with the semifinal game, the Balers took a 4-0 lead into the half and finished the job in the second by adding three more goals. 

Hollister qualified for the Northern California regionals as the Central Coast Section Division 4 champions. They defeated Soledad 4-3 in the championship game; Everett Alvarez 2-1 in the semifinal; and More 10-0 in the opening round. 


The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.


Michael Koteles

An intern reporter for BenitoLink, Michael also tackles a college prep program, debate club, and wrestling and lacrosse competitions at Hollister High School. President of Club Adversity—a campus club he founded—Michael challenges others as he does himself, modeling goal planning, overcoming obstacles, and trying out public speaking, for example at Rotary Club events. To round out his busy schedule, Michael serves as Region 6 president of the California Association of Student Councils, representing Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties. He imagines a future in public policy after graduating from a four- year university, but for now until high school graduation in 2024, Michael will continue to help his peers in Club Adversity stay organized and build teams to fight for the ideals of his generation.