When Jennifer Guinn took over the Temecula Valley girls’ soccer program eight years ago, of course she had faith in what her plan was, which was to create a strong competitive program. Her first three years were filled with typical difficulties, but with a fourth place finish her first year, a third place finish her second year, and a second-place finish by that third year of coaching, things were only getting better.

In the 2017-18 school year the Lady Golden Bears claimed their first Southwestern League title under Guinn, garnishing an 8-0-2 league record. Since then, the program has written its way into the record books with five consecutive league titles after clinching their fifth one with a 7-0 win over Chaparral Friday, Jan. 28.

The Temecula Valley Lady Golden Bears claimed their fifth consecutive Southwestern League title with a 7-0 win over Chaparral Friday, Jan. 28. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

Even though this is the final week of the regular season, Temecula Valley (15-1-1) are the clear front runner. This year’s squad has an undefeated league record at (8-0) and there are just two games to go before playoff seedings get announced Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 9 a.m. Vista Murrieta (5-2-1) is in second-place in the standings and have given the Lady Golden Bears their toughest challenges this season with games that yielded scores of 1-0 and 2-1.

“It feels amazing to take it early with two games to go,” says Guinn. “This relieves pressure and allows us to move towards our next goal.

In the world of sports, a “dynasty” is a team that has exhibited excellence over a considerable period of time. In order to be considered a “dynasty”, a team is usually required to win at least two titles over a short period of time. In this day and age, dynasties are becoming increasingly rare, but don’t tell Guinn and her program that.

“In this program you have one choice…rise to the pressure, and enjoy the ride,” adds Guinn. “We focus on working hard, having fun and my captains follow the lead of the coaching staff and previous champions, which is to create a fun environment. Personally, I believe that’s what contributes to building champions.”

Two of Guinn’s captains are leading scorers for the Lady Golden Bears this season. Senior Natalie Mitchell, who is a three-year varsity starter and committed to playing at East Carolina University next season, has 22 goals and 10 assists. Senior Kate Jacobsen, a four-year varsity starter, has 12 goals and 13 assists.

Junior keeper Ellie Ludwig, who is one of the more dominant at her position, has kept Temecula Valley in every game, allowing only 1 goal over the course of league play. The fact that she is a returner next year will give Temecula Valley a great edge in the standings again.

Midfielder and four-year varsity starter and captain, Peyton Bundy, is another reason why this squad has stayed the course. Bundy is committed to play at Colorado Mesa University next season and Guinn had this to say, “Peyton is a consistent force in the midfield. She holds the line and is a key part of our defensive game. She wins balls consistently and creates many offensive opportunities for us and has been a solid contributor to our season.”

Guinn knows and understands how tough the Southwestern League is.

“It’s a new story every year,” she says. “I believe that this particular group has a rich senior class that is very goal oriented and wants to continue the legacy that the previous teams have. They strive to be like them. Together, including the past groups’ stories and success, we all make a great team.”

Temecula Valley, ranked No. 6 nationally in the current prep sports rankings, will wrap up the regular season with home games against Murrieta Mesa and Great Oak. When postseason brackets get announced, it will be done so online at http://www.cifss.org.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.