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Woodside High's Athlete of the Week: Salvador Mendoza, Soccer

Salvador, a senior defensive player, recovered from a major knee injury to lead the Wildcats this season.

[Editor's Note: The following information was received by Patch from the Woodside High School Athletic Dept., and is reprinted here.]

Last week Woodside High School’s men’s soccer team demonstrated some Peninsula Athletic League dominance, defeating both Half Moon Bay (2-0) and Burlingame (4-0), formerly second place teams in the PAL. Essential to the Wildcats success last week and all year long has been Salvador Mendoza, a senior center-defender who is a big reason opponents find it very difficult to score on Woodside. Mendoza not only provided tenacious defense for the Wildcats, but he scored a goal against Half Moon Bay from thirty-five yards out, for his second goal of the season.

Woodside’s Coach Darrell Ringman said that Mendoza personifies a men’s soccer program, “that is committed to our academics, serious about our sport and loyal to the school that gives us the privilege to compete with honor.” Salvador had a true test to his character and devotion to the sport eight months ago when he severely injured his ACL playing soccer, underwent major knee surgery, successfully rehabilitated, and now finds himself leading the Wildcats. Salvador finds inspiration and models his play on what he calls “the Barcelona model”, emphasizing teamwork and precision passing. 

Besides his hard work on the soccer field, Salvador has managed to maintain a solid 3.3 GPA in his academics, while taking a full load of college prep courses. Salvador hopes to take his soccer skills and desire for higher education to either San Jose State or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next  year. For now, Salvador sees something special in this group of Wildcats, “…we’ve all worked hard this year and we are committed to winning our league, and then a CCS title.”

There are many believers at Woodside, and a strong sense that Salvador’s vision will happen. Salvador and his fellow Wildcats will be traveling to their rival Menlo-Atherton on Wednesday, followed up by another road match against San Mateo this Friday, and finish up league play next week against Aragon and arch rival Sequoia.

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