Over the past seven months, the girls under 14 of the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club 97 have won every tournament that they entered. Though pleased with their efforts, the team knew that a victory at the 8th Annual Pleasanton Rage Junior Tournament would be a test of their talents. One year ago at the contest, the CV team came away with a lot of bruises and three losses.
The first game was against San Ramon Azuri. CV started strong and did not let up on the attack. The first point came from Heather Turcios passing to Sophia Bonanni then to Dylan Harrow.
Solid offensive play was seen with help from Sarah Patrick, Sophia Bonanni and McKenna Sandoval. Goalkeeper Clare Shapiro was also strong, keeping the few goal attempts from finding a home, ending the half 1-0 CV.
In the second half, a pass from Rachel Bird to Izzy Arriaza-Costilla to Sarah Patrick ended with another score. Annie Winton made an amazing toss in to Sarah Patrick quickly adding another, 3-0. The offense kept the pressure on allowing Bird to bounce off San Ramon’s goalie for the final point of the game 4-0.
The next team CV was up against was Santa Rosa United Frost, a known tough opponent.
Arriaza-Costilla, on a half field drive, took a pause as the goalie rushed her, but executed a nice tap on the ball resulting in a goal. Next, Bird made a corner kick and, with CV’s offense dominating the field, another point was made, 2-0.
Though only in the first half, the game became very physical. Shapiro used everything she had to protect the goal from the offense. Santa Rosa utilized every advantage and when the team received a couple of free kicks they brought the score to 2-2 at the half.
Another free kick and Santa Rosa took the lead 2-3 but it was CV’s Annie Winton in the right place at the right time to tie the game with the last point of the game, 3-3 final.
In the first minutes of the next game, against Placer United Premier, it was a corner kick from Emma Tapp to Arriaza-Costilla to Harrow to nail the first goal. CV’s defense – MK Zuiderveen, Lauren Busta, Heather Turcios and Kayci Jatico – was doing a masterful job keeping the pressure on. Then it was a toss-in by Winton to Bird for the tap into the goal.
With moments to go before the half, Arriaza-Costilla got fouled in the box and Bird scored her second goal on the free kick. But CVSC was not done yet.
Midway through the second half a pass from Riley Benjamin to Bird brought the score to 4-0.
The finals saw CVSC against high-ranking Lamorinda United 97 – a tough contest.
Both teams took to the field with a determination that made it hard to keep track of how many times each tried to score a goal. Both goalies were working hard – CV would put the pressure on and bombard the goal with shot attempts one after another. Then Lamorinda would take charge and do the same. Lamorinda played a different game than CV was use to, a short game whether it was a toss in or a kick from the goalkeeper, which meant CV had to react quickly.
In the last two minutes of the scoreless game, a successful shot by Riley Benjamin gave CV the needed point ending the game 1-0.
Contributed by Kenny Shapiro.