(July 27, 2010) - The Under 14 Girls Foothill MVLA Lightning successfully navigated the waters of preliminary round play at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kansas and sailed into the championship game. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come when thunder and lightning rolled through Overland Park Saturday evening delaying the start of games by more than an hour, but the weather did not dampen the spirit and excitement once games kicked off and contrary to the old adage, lightning did strike in the same place twice as the MVLA Lightning went on to claim the National title. The final match went scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods to finally culminate in Lightning’s victory in PKs 5-3 over North Texas’ Sting 96.
MVLA advanced to the championships with two wins and a loss in preliminary round play. In their first match of the tournament Gaby Kaplan scored the lone goal of the match in the Lightning’s 1-0 victory over the Michigan Hawks Black. Game two saw the MVLA girls fall to Sting 96 from North Texas.
In their third round-robin match Lightning went on to secure a 4-0 win over SA of Columbia United Premier from Maryland. A first half goal by Caitlyn Wong set the tone and the deal was sealed in the second half when Hannah Reed sandwiched her goal between the two netted by Celeste Kaashoek. Taking the winning momentum with them into the championship match served the Lightning well.
Sting entered the match with some confidence after having dealt MVLA their only defeat of the tournament during group play on Thursday, where Sting prevailed 1-0 over Lighting. But MVLA’s defense, and specifically keeper Jacquelyn Caginia, rose to the occasion and carried the team to the coveted US Youth Soccer National Championship. Caginia fended off every scoring chance Sting brought her way and continued her goal-tending dominance through the kicks from the penalty spot tie breaker. The MVLA keeper was rewarded for her excellence when she was named the Golden Glove winner. The trophy is presented to the outstanding goalkeeper of the tournament. Teammate Gaby Kaplan was recognized as the tournament’s MVP and was awarded the Golden Ball trophy for her achievement.
A win, a loss and a tie were not enough to advance Mt Hamilton PAC Tigres, the Region IV champion from CYSA, to the U15 boys’ finals. A scoreless tie in game one against Michigan’s Vardar, a 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Bays Chelsea and a 2-0 victory over the Lemont Raiders of Illinois rounded out the Tigres first experience at Nationals. Cesar Garcia and Edson Cardona provided the offensive punch in the Tigres loss to Chelsea. In their final match vs the Raiders, Cesar Garcia scored his second goal of the tournament to bookend an insurance goal netted by Sergio Rico.
In other action, the California Northstars from Southern Alameda County ended their competition with a 2-2 tie against the Eclipse Select of Illinois. Micaela Castain scored both goals for the Northstars who exit the tournament with 2 losses and a tie. In the U19 girls’ first game Marisa Schneider was responsible for both Northstars goals in a scoring frenzy to start the second half in a tough 2-3 loss to Lonestars 91 Red from South Texas. In game two Mariah Cameron managed the lone Northstars goal against the powerhouse FC Bucks Vipers from Pennsylvania East. The trip to Nationals wraps up the youth soccer experience for most of the Northstars players who move on to the college ranks.
The Mt Hamilton and MVLA teams return to California where they will set the standard in CYSA’s new state-wide playing league, CYSA - Cal Soccer League.
With the 2011 NCAA National Letter of Intent Signing Day coming-up on February 2nd, I wanted to bring to your attention a very special group of soccer student athletes from the MVLA Avalanche http://www.eteamz.com/avalanche/ Girls U18 soccer team coached by Erin and Albertin Montoya.
The MVLA Avalanche girls soccer team was founded back in 2003, and became on of the top-ranked youth soccer teams in the US. During the past seven years, the team: won the CYSA Cal-North State Cup Championship twice, were State Cup Finalists twice, won the CYSA District Cup Championship five consecutive years from 2003-07, had three players selected to play for the National Team, and three players were named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top-100 Soccer Recruits.
On February 2nd, the following MVLA Avalanche players will sign their National Letter of Intent: Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA), Stephanie Sorg (Santa Clara University), Geena Graumann (University of Southern California), Rachel Wimmer (University of Southern California), Kelsey Foo (University of Oregon), Jennifer Randazzo (UC Irvine), Lauren Schmidt (Stanford), Sandra Ley (CAL), Helen Butler (Virgina Tech), and Kelly Jarvis (Santa Clara University). Last year the team graduated six players and five played soccer at the following schools: Katie Crum (Gonzaga University), Kristina Garrido (Harvard University), Claudia Hauessler (Harvard University), Crystal Shaffie (UCLA), and Chivon Crump (University of Nevada).