The Sporting 98 Girls finished 2nd in the CRL NorCal Division this Fall right behind the Lamorinda United 98 Team and qualify to compete in Southern California next Spring. The winner of the playoffs will earn a spot in next year’s Far West Regional Tournament held in Boise, Idaho in June of 2015.
The Team is now on a break from club soccer and the girls are competing in high school soccer. They will regroup in late February and compete in a very busy Spring Schedule. They plan to compete in the NorCal Spring College Showcase, the Las Vegas College Showcase, and both the NorCal and Cal-North State Cup Tournaments.
The Santa Clara Sporting 98 Green Team are half-way through their 2014 NorCal Premier Champions League Fall schedule sitting in 4th Place with 2 wins and 2 losses. Last Sunday they defeated the Lamorinda United 98 Team (current Cal-North State Cup Champions) 4-2 in a thrilling fast-paced game out in Orinda last Sunday. Within 10 minutes after kick-off, Santa Clara almost scored from a searing shot that bounced off the Lamorinda goal post, followed by more scoring opportunities but could not put the ball in the Lamorinda goal. The host team scored first on a quick counter-attack and the first half ended with United leading 1-0. Right after the second half started Santa Clara was able to convert their first scoring opportunity with their own counter-attack to level the game 1-1. Then the Sporting 98’s really caught fire and scored two more goals within a 15 minute period to take a commanding 3-1 lead deep into the second half of the game. The Lamorinda Team fought back and scored their second goal to narrow the gap to a tight 3-2 contest. But Santa Clara was able to put another goal into the Lamorinda net and held a 4-2 lead until the end of the game. Sporting will face four tough opponents in the second half of the schedule; Placer United 99 Gold, Elk Grove 99G Navy, Mustang Velocity and Marin FC 99G Blue.
The Santa Clara Sporting 98G Green Team competed up one age group and won the 2014 Juventus Tournament of Champions on August 2-3rd in Redwood City. Competing in the Premier U17 age group, the Sporting 98G Green team beat three U17 teams including an exciting championship game against the Juventus Zebre Team 2-1. Sporting dropped their first game 0-1 against the U17 Wolfpack Team from SoCal after dominating much of the game. Santa Clara battled the SoCal team for 58 minutes and conceeded a late game goal to loose their opening game. But the team bounced back and easily won their 2nd game over the Juventus Thunder Team with a 4-0 score to put themselves back into the tournament race. On the second day of competition they battled an aggressive Juventus Lightning (U17) Team on a very small turf field. It was difficult to build attacks on the short field but the team dug-in and scored 2 goals in the second half to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
Their semi-final game was a rematch against the Wolfpack Team from SoCal. About 15 minutes into the first half, the SoCal team got on the score board with a strike about 35 yards from the Sporting goal. It looked like the ball was going to scoot across the Santa Clara net but the ball ended-up in the back corner to put the Wolfpack up 1-0. The ’98s came roaring back in the second half and scored 2 goals while controlling much of the posession in a thrilling victory. They earned a spot in the U17 Finals with a gritty display of determination and left nothing on the field.
The championship match was another hard fought battle vs. the U17 Juventus Zebre Team that are ranked 3rd in NorCal. The team had to build an impenetrable wall of defense against the Zebre’s very dangerous speedy forward Jillienne Aguilera – recruited to the Univeristy of Arizona. Sporting came-out with a high pressure attacking game while their defense held Juventus to only a few long range shots on goal. A goal in the first half put Santa Clara in the lead 1-0 at halftime. The second half of the game went back-and-forth as Juventus realized the younger Sporting Team was giving them a run for the Championship title. The Zebre Team equalized the game with 10 minutes left, but Sporting poured-on the attacks and found a late game winning goal on a corner kick in the Juventus goal box.
The Sporting 98 Girls Green Team compete next in the Diablo Cup and United FC Cup in SoCal before starting the Fall Season. Congratulations to the players and thanks to the five Sporting 97G White Team players that came to help over the weekend.
The Santa Clara Sporting 98 Girls Green Team defeated the MVLA Typhoons 98G Blue Team 2-1 to win the 2014 Sporting Girls Invitational Tournament. The team scored 16 goals and only allowed 1 into their net as they went undefeated to win the U15 age group. This is the team’s third consecutive Sporting Girls Invitational championship.