It is with great joy and pride that I can report our G00A team achieved a fantastic result over the weekend of July 28-31 in San Diego.
Coached by Scott Newman, our girls team went up against “the best of the best” and earned the championship. This is no mean feat given the talent and caliber of teams that travel to compete each year in the San Diego Surf Cup.
If you ever go and watch Scott coach his team, you will find that he is meticulous in his preparation and in the details on how he wants his girls to play. So it was no surprise to me to hear that they won this prestigious title.
For a club not 2 years old, I hope this is the start of many titles to come.
Director of Coaching, Girls Program
Greater Seattle Surf Soccer Club
ABOUT SURF CUP:The San Diego Surf Cup continues to be the summer showcase for youth soccer’s best of the best for more than 30 years. The tournament draws the attention of thousands of spectators and hundreds of college coaches and scouts each year. There’s no better place to play and be recognized.All games are played on pristine grass fields at either the Surf Cup Sports Park in Del Mar, California (Boys) or So Cal Sports Complex in Oceanside, California (Girls).
We started the tournament off with a flight on Thursday morning. We arrived in San Diego and then our hotel. We went to the beach and spent a couple hours relaxing. Friday we got in a good short training session that set us up for the remainder of the week.
Our first game was against Real So Cal. They were a really good team that kept the ball well at the start of the game. After four or five minutes of maintaining possession in their back third, Real started to get anxious and spent most of the rest of the game trying to play balls over the top of our back line. The first half ended up 0-0, with Francesca Sheppard getting the best chance of the first half on a combination play that got her in behind the defense, but her shot hit the post and she couldn’t control the follow up enough to get it on frame. The second half was pretty much all ours. We hit the post one more time, and scored two goals. Jadyn Edwards scored both goals, one on an assist from Hayli Huhta, and the second on an assist from Kimber Thomas. Final score 2-0.
The second game was on the same day. We played San Tan Legacy from Arizona. They struggled to break us down defensively, and again resorted to serving long balls. We had a good amount of possession, and were very good in transition to attack. For the second game in a row, Edwards scored two goals for us. The first came off an assist from Esperanza “Espy” Soriano-Sanchez, and the second came after Edwards intercepted a pass and beat the keeper from about 20 yards out. The final score was 2-0.
On Sunday, we had one game. Entering the game we knew that a tie or a win would put us through in first place. Leahi Soccer Club, from Hawaii, also had won both of their games, but had a better goal differential. Leahi had a couple very quick players that operated in the wing channels and a good center back that made it difficult to penetrate initially. Toward the end of the first half we scored off of a corner kick. Kiah Dayton served a ball into a dangerous area, and off of pressure from Kelsy Berge, one of their players scored an own goal off of her header. We were up 1-0 at half. In the second half we made some adjustments to our spacing in attack and the field opened up even more. Isabel Kembel scored two goals in the second half. Her first came off of a pass from Caylie Etherington, Kembel beat the defenders and the GK to the through ball and tucked in nicely for a 2-0 lead. Kembel’s second goal came off of a 10-15 pass sequence that resulted with Berge serving a cross in from the right flank that Kembel beat the keeper to for a header goal. After that it was just us maintaining possession and making them chase the rest of the game.
That result put us into the Semi-Finals against FCSC Nemesis from Vancouver. We played them last spring and had a very good result. With that in mind, they came out against us and played a very low pressure game, trying to get as many players behind the ball as they could. This strategy was working for extended periods of time. We struggled at time to keep the ball moving at a fast pace. They got a couple of opportunities as we struggled to break them down. Jordan Jenkins came up with a couple big saves to keep the shutout. With three minutes left, Edwards got fouled just outside the area. Dayton served a great ball into the box and Anna Whitaker got up for a header that put us into the finals with a 1-0 win.
Our final game was against Rebels Soccer Club from Southern Cal. Rebels are a National League team with a very distinctive style of play. They really try to build out of the back, dropping their 6 way into the back line to open up space. We struggled a little bit with how to press them in the first half. They had more of the run of play, but we held them without a goal through the first half. Edwards had a great chance to put us in the lead but missed it just over the top. In the second half our adjustments had them struggling to get any penetration into the middle third of the field. As a result we started to win balls higher up the field and started to put the under pressure with some of our opportunities. With just a couple of minutes left we forced a great save out of their goalkeeper, but couldn’t find a way to beat her. The game ended in a 0-0 tie and went straight to Penalty Kicks.
We shot first and Edwards scored. They scored their first shot as well. Our second shot by Berge went in, and their second shooter hit it off the crossbar give us a 2-1 after the second round. Our third shot was saved by their keeper. Not to be outdone, Jenkins then saved their third shot. We kept our 2-1 lead after the third round. Sheppard stepped up and buried the shot to give us a 3-1 lead. Jenkins saved their fourth shot giving us the 3-1 win.
Overall, the team was outstanding in many areas. We kept a shutout through all five games against great competition. Jenkins came up with several key saves to keep a clean sheet, and then made two saves in the PK shootout. We got six goals from our forwards, and two from set pieces.
SURF G00A ROSTER:
- Kelsy Berge – Inglemoor HS ’18
- Gabrielle Chappell – Edmonds-Woodway HS ’19
- Kiah Dayton – Glacier Peak HS ’18
- Jadyn Edwards – Jackson HS ’18
- Caylie Etherington – Oak Harbor HS ’18
- Keile Hansen – Jackson HS ’19
- Madison Hinkel – Lynnwood HS ’19
- Hayli Huhta – Marysville-Getchell HS ’18
- Jordan Jenkins – Interlake HS ’19
- Isabel Kembel – Mountlake Terrace HS ’18
- Clare Madden – Lakeside HS ’19
- Francesca Sheppard -Lakeside HS ’18
- Esperanza Soriano-Sanchez – Stanwood HS ’18
- Cloey Chester – Woodinville HS ’18
- Estera Levinte – Bothell HS ’19