SCA 99 Girls North Defeat Pleasanton Rage and Diablo FC to Advance to Norcal State Cup Gold 2 Finals!
Coming into 2011, SCA 99GN was on the cusp of being one of the flight of premier teams. However, this team lost a couple of key players in early 2011. Since then SCA 99GN has struggled to regain the chemistry it had in 2010. After completing the recent Norcal Second Round of games, SCA 99GN was listed as the 8th seed in the Norcal U13G Gold 2 quarterfinal bracket.
As the eighth seed, SCA 99GN had to play against # 1 seed, Pleasanton Rage for the quarterfinal. This game took place on Saturday Night (January 21’st) at Justin Sienna High School (Napa). It was fitting that this quarterfinal match took place on a high school field under the lights. Both teams played with the intensity of a high school playoff game. Although Pleasanton was fast, they couldn’t get into their rhythm because SCA 99GN’s defense was there to break up passing lanes, trap long balls, and make hard tackles. The game went back and forth with neither team scoring. With about ten minutes left in the game, there was a feeling that this game may very well go into overtime, and perhaps penalty kicks. However, with about six minutes remaining, Pleasanton finally broke free from the SCA 99GN defense. Pleasanton’s striker had an open goal opportunity from about 13 yards out. Unfortunately for Pleasanton, the shot went wide right of the goal. There was a collective sigh of relief from the SCA 99GN family. Pleasanton’s momentum was lost about a minute later, when SCA 99GN made some great passes up the field and somehow found a way to score, even though there were three or four defenders nearby. Pleasanton increased their intensity, and earnestly tried to level the score. In fact, Pleasanton had a couple of corner kick opportunities with less than two minutes remaining. Although SCA 99GN has struggled with corner kick defense, they were more than equal to the task against Pleasanton. The game ended with a breathtaking 1-0 victory for SCA 99GN.
On Sunday (Jan 22’nd), SCA 99GN played its semifinal game against Diablo. This was a familiar opponent, as these two teams played in early October in the NorCal Preliminary Rounds. That first match was a hard fought 3-2 victory for SCA 99GN. This game was played in Hayward, under cold, wet, and windy conditions. It looked to be another close hard fought game. However, from the opening kickoff, SCA 99GN’s defense set the tempo. Ten minutes into the game, SCA 99GN scored its first goal. The halftime score was 1-0. Diablo almost scored on a couple of opportunities in the second half, but it was SCA 99GN who scored again with about fifteen minutes remaining. The defense remained resilient and stout.and SCA 99GN prevailed 2-0.
SCA 99GN now advances to the U13 (Girls) Gold 2 finals in Woodland, CA. They will play against a very good Stockton Storm team, who they have played in the Santa Cruz Breaker’s Cup. That game ended in a 0-0 tie.