By Matt Schwab
DANVILLE -- San Ramon Valley High girls soccer coach Mark Jones' Midas touch in the North Coast Section playoffs returned during the winter season.
Jones, in his eighth season, guided the Wolves to their first Division I title in four seasons with a 1-0 win over rival Monte Vista on Feb. 23 at Dublin High.
It was San Ramon Valley's impressive eighth consecutive berth in the Division I finals. They'd lost in the previous three after winning four in a row.
This time the star-studded Wolves, who have 12 players heading to Division I programs, got the job done on a Megan Turner goal in the second half. They finished 20-0-5 and repeated as East Bay Athletic League and Tri-Valley Classic champions.
"This year was special: Undefeated was just hard to do," Jones said.
In a year known best for parity in the EBAL, Jones' team was workmanlike its march, stepping up as needed.
Jones said the effort in the section final exemplified the Wolves' play overall.
"We possessed. We attacked. We were aggressive, and we found a way to get a goal against a really good team," he said.
San Ramon Valley didn't exactly roll over the EBAL competition. They finished 8-0-4 with ties against Monte Vista (twice), Livermore and California.
But the Wolves' steady attacking pressure simply kept opponents under siege. The Wolves turned it up a notch in the playoffs, outscoring four opponents 9-1 combined. A 3-0 win over formidable Castro Valley in the semifinals showcased the Wolves' remarkable depth, especially during a dominating second half.