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Elk Grove, California

  Hot Starfire News  


State Cup

Wednesday, April 20

On a beautiful Spring day in Morgan Hill, the Starfire would play the Santa Rosa Gold(Freeze).  This would be the second time in six years the Starfire would make it to the 'Round of Sixteen' in State Cup.  How ironic, the first time it was also against the Santa Rosa Freeze.  In that game, it was Jordan Clark for the Starfire, who knock down a goal kick in OT and blasted it back into the net.  That goal sent a chill down your spine and extended the game in to double OT.  The Starfire ended up loosing that game with seconds left on the clock by a long sailing shot from who knows where and ended up in the net. ( I have the game on DVD but like the Elk Grove Tournament ran out of tape during OT).  A current injury report for this game would have Bootie out for the year and Dara with bad ankle sprain. With a little luck and a solid performance from all the players, this game could end up with more favorable results.  

When the game started, all of us were looking for the obvious difference between the two teams.  I personally don't think they played a better technical game of soccer, but their speed up and down the field stood out like a big red flag.  Their relentless effort to get the ball was hard for our girls to keep up with.  Because of their speed, our girls were always five steps behind their strikers.  Most of the game was played defending.  We had a couple chances to score including a PK from a foul in the box by two Santa Rosa defenders who took out Vanessa by applying a  (Freeze sandwhich).  She was a little shook up but took the PK anyway.  Unfortunately it went wide left.  By the end of the half and the rest of the game, the shots on goal would be to much for the Starfire to defend. The game would end 3-0. 

Monday, April 4
In Hanford this weekend, the Starfire advanced to the second round of the CYSA State Cup Tournament. With the 3 wins this weekend, all by shutout , the Starfire has demonstrated the determination and teamwork needed to move on to the 2nd round.  
A 2-0 victory against Pleasanton, a 1-0 victory against Santa Clara, and a 4-0 victory against North Fresno, will send the Starfire to Morgan Hill in 2 weeks.

Exciting weekend girls!    Lets keep it going!

Monday, February 14
After a long rainy season, the Starfire finally completed their 2004 League play Season with the last make up game against Cap Valley.  With limited time to practice because of the wet fields, the girls were eagerly ready to get back into soccer mode. 
The Cap Valley game played out like the rest of the games in their flight.  It was very competitive and close.  At the beginning, it was the Starfire to strike first.  About 8 minutes in, a throwin from Taylor into the mixer, bounced around and settled by Jasmine, who then dished out a perfect setup pass for Dara, who blasted it into the far left panel. The assist from Jasmine and the goal by Dara, gave 1-0  advantage to the Starfire.  As the game went on. you could see the game start to change.  The lack of practices and conditioning became a factor.  At the end of the 1st half, the Starfire gave up the equalizer.  The 2nd half, Cap Valley would see the back of the net 2 more times.  The game would end 3-1.
For the 2nd year in a row , the Starfire would finish 4th in their league.

Monday, August 16

In the Suntan Classic, the Starfire was playing like a fine tuned engine.  All cylinders were firing.  In the Highlight Reel, you will see that all the players were feeling it.  In fact, the Starfire scored 11 goals from 7 different players.  They finished 3-1 for the weekend, beating Vacaville and Santa Clara twice (in the first and last game). 

The game that derailed their weekend, was the game against Bullard.  Even though the Starfire took 20 shots at goal and dominated the game, the Bullard goalie with a outstanding performance held the Starfire Scoreless.  With the Starfire allowing a goal in the first half, they couldn't make it up. Bullard walked away with a 1-0 win. Because of the schedule, this game would end up taking away any chance for the Starfire to get to the finals. 

Overall the team played very well.  We were happy to see Katie back playing with the Starfire and making the Highlight Reel. 

1st Place  Elk Grove


Monday, August 9

This weekend, in the Elk Grove Invitational, the Stargazers were treated to all the things that might happen in a great soccer game.  A determined win that might make-up for last years loss?  Taking a loss from a team you know you totally out played? And after that loss, you're thinking the odds are against you making it to the finals. How about playing two games back to back in the extreme 100 degree heat with one sub,  knowing the other team has rested all day?  Then to top off the whole weekend, a nail biting game that goes to overtime and ends up in penalty kicks.  All of these scenarios were the highlights of a Stargazer's weekend.  For the Stargazers who experienced this, they would tell you they need a vacation. For the Stargazers that weren't there, there were moments you are going to wish you were. Lucky for you , I'm able to describe some of these moments and maybe show you some video.

Our first game Saturday was against Placer.  Now, it has been awhile since we have played Placer.  In fact, the last time we saw Placer,  it was a make up league game that we played at night under the lights.  As I recall, it wasn't favorable for the Starfire. When we heard that Placer was in this tournament and they were our first game, we were excited! Maybe the results of this game would be better.  The Starfire players were well rested, very focused, and ready to get this one going.  The game started off very good for the Starfire. It was just about 6 minutes into the game when Sophia introduced the ball to the net. With help from her teammates, and a well crossed ball from Arri, it looks like the Starfire was ready for Placer.  Another 3 minutes went by when we saw Dara running down the sidelines like a cougar and nobody even close. She then shoots the ball across goal and into the back of the net.  Placer, I don't think was ready for this much offense at all in the first 9 minutes. The game did settle down a bit , then Placer began to pressure the defense. They started taking some shots at goal.  The first half ended with Starfire up by 2.
The 2nd was a more fairly matched half.  Another opportunity for the Stafire presented itself about 10 minutes in when Arri sent a perfect touch pass to Dara, who then split the defenders and scored again.  Placer had a chance and scored  because of a foul just outside the box.  A ball was shot high in the goal just over Kelsey's finger tips.  The game ended 3-1.

The last game of the day was at 4:00 against Cap Valley. The temperature was about 102 degrees when the game started and obviously the heat was going to be a factor.  Because the girls were little slow to the ball, Cap Valley got some opportunities to shoot at our goal.  About  18 minutes in, they got a shot through the defense and into the net.  Their confidence was building and it wasn't long before Cap Valley got through again.  The half ended with Cap Valley up by 2.

The 2nd half was different.  What ever was said at half time, it seemed to work.  The girls came out with some energy and determination.  Right at the beginning of this half, the Starfire was already pressuring the Cap Valley Defense. In fact, 2 headers, one from Bootie and another from Tay had us on our feet.  Neither were successful. The momentum was definitely changing for the better.  Just about 5 minutes into the 2nd half, a throw in from Taylor dropped in front of the goal and it was passed back out to her at about the 20 yard line.  With the fullback now leaning on Bootie, Taylor sent the ball right over the pack to Bootie, who timed it just right and headed it into the goal.  The sidelines exploded.  Still early in the 2nd, the half was pretty much dominated by the Starfire.  A lot of shots at goal but, none of them would get into the net. Cap Valley held on to beat the Starfire 2-1.

The Starfire finished Saturday with a 1-1 record and are going to need some help if they  wanted to reach the finals. When we arrived at the field on Sunday, we heard some good news.  Placer was playing Cap Valley and they were up 1-0. Placer ended up winning that game and put the Starfire back in the running.  Now after 3 games, Placer and Cap Valley tied in points.  We calculated we needed a win by 2 to make it to the finals.

Bay Oaks was our 12:30 game and the day was already blistering hot.  Knowing that Bay Oaks already had  2 loses, it made our chances look pretty good.  This was a good game except for 2 crucial errors by the Bay Oaks defense.  Twice "hands in the box" led to PK's and 2 goals for Arri.  Just before the end of the first half, a foul on the Starfire led to a direct kick, about the Starfire's 20 yard line.  It went over Bootie and into the goal.

In the 2nd, it was fun to watch. The tempo of the game was very fast.  Up and down the field, the ball traveled with precision passing by both teams.  Arri, now feeling very confident,  was passed the the ball up front.  She then beat 2 defenders and scored for the 3rd time in this game.  The game ended 3-1.  The Starfire now with enough points, heads for the finals against Elk Grove.

The Starfire had about an hour to get ready for this game.  Many of the players were nursing injuries.  With only 1 extra player, the odds didn't look good for the Starfire. Especially when we knew Elk Grove watched most of the games and played 5 hours earlier.  The blistering heat and the players with blistering feet, didn't help those odds. Although when the game started, the Starfire was pumped up.  They looked rejuvenated.  We had the satisfaction of knowing we made it this far. But the players were not going home without the gold. The game started off very up beat.  The teams looked well matched.  The opportunity to shoot at goal came in flurries.  It wasn't just one shot and out.  The ball usually stayed down there for 2 or 3 shots.  The Starfire's play was very confident.  It was about 15 minutes in when Ayana, who was there at the bottom of a goal kick, deflected the ball up front to Tay in full stride.  Then Tay with authority, blasted it in to the left side of the goal. There were a lot more opportunities to score. The Starfire banged the ball off the crossbar, the uprights, the goalie, and anything else that stood in front of the goal.  But Elk Grove held on and did not allow another goal in the half.

In the 2nd half, there continued to be a lot of shots at goal. Quick transition offense by both teams led to great defensive plays. One play that Elk Grove made changed the score.  Their midfielder at about 50, close to the sidelines, kicked a long ball high in the air. It connected with their striker who was in a full sprint and sent the ball with a funny spin into the goal. The Starfire continued to get oppotunities to score, but couldn't capitalize.  Regulation expired at a 1-1 tie.

The game went on to 2 five minute overtime periods.  These consisted of  each team taking the ball down the field.  I don't think either team took a shot at goal. 

Penalty kicks were next.  Elk grove won the toss and went first.  Bootie was in the goal and still a little rattled about the goal scored against her.  The first kicker placed the ball perfectly in the upper left corner of the goal.  Dara was the Starfire's first kicker.  As the Ref and the EG goalie got ready, she had her back facing the goal.  When the Ref  blew the whistle, Dara turned around, took 2 steps and blasted it into the lower right side of the goal.  The goalie never took a step.  Bootie after seeing Dara score our first PK, was standing tall.  She blocked the next kicker.  Tay got her chance to add to the excitement with a blast past the keeper and into the net.  Bootie again feeling very confident and hearing the support from her teammates blocked E.G.'s third kicker. The score was now Starfire 2, EG 1.  Kristy was the next kicker.  Her kick hard and a little wide left.  E.G.'s next kicker pounded it hard and over the goal.  Jasmine took her shot. It went hard and over the goal.  E.G.'s last kicker blasted it hard into the goal.  Now we were tied 2-2.  But the Starfire had one last chance.  Arri, who already scored 3 goals in the first game, was still playing with confidence.  She perfectly placed the ball on the ground.  Took a quick look and with no hesitation, blasted it into the net.  The sidelines erupted.  Loud cheers from everyone and the Hi 5's were flying.  

What a great ending to a challenging weekend.  Great Job Starfire!!  

For you Stargazers who have DSL or Cable modem and couldn't make it to the games?

Check out the Elk Grove Invitational Highlight Real.

Taylor Blocking The Big Aztec Forward
Monday, July 26

After a great weekend in Pismo, the Starfire was invited down south again to participate in the Pateadores Cup.  The beach was great in Pismo, I'm thinking Huntington beach has to be just as good or even better.  Soccer by the beach is something this team could really get use too. 

The coach told us we should see some stronger teams down south and he was right.  Our  first and only game on Saturday was against the Aztec F.C. Premier.  The first obvious signs we were going to have a tough weekend is when we realized we  had 2 premier teams in our flight.  The game played out at a very fast pace.  The Starfire with a few opportunities to score, couldn't get the job done.  They found themselves quickly transitioning from offense to defense because of the quickness of the Aztec's forwards.  The game was very physical. Players were falling right and left and little calls were made by the Refs. By half, the score was 3-0 Aztecs.

The 2nd half had the same results. The quickness to the ball and the quick effortless decision making was challenging and hard for Sacramento to compete with.  The Starfire gave up 2 more goals.  The game ended 5-0 and the Aztecs were definitely one of the favorites to win this tournament.

Our first game Sunday was against the Dublin Celtic.  Now if you have been keeping up with Starfire, Dublin and the Stafire have a little rivalry going on.  They beat us last year in the finals in Livermore 1-0.  We played them 2 weeks ago in Pismo and beat them 3-1.  I'm thinking this is going to be a good game.  Both teams lost their first game this weekend against the Premier teams so,  which team is going to take this one?  They say Dublin was short players in Pismo and the Starfire is short players here, so it sounds like Dublin might have a chance for a little revenge.

This game, unlike Pismo, the players were matched up pretty equal.  A very entertaining game to watch.  It was a physical game and like the last one,  little calls to restrain the game.  The Starfire was the first one to change the score board.  A shot at the goal from Dara, bounced off the keeper and Sofia was there to make sure it hit the net.  Dublin,  not going to sit down and take it, turned it up another level.  It's wasn't long before they capitalized off  of a corner kick and got it into the back of the net.  Another goal was scored by Dublin, off a direct kick which sailed over Lauren's  head into the upper back of the goal.  But it was the Starfire who showed they couldn't be shut down.  One of those long throw ins from Taylor again became the factor, when Bootie, who was up in front, had to lean away from the goal to get a head on it and put it into the back of the net.  The half ended 2-2.    

Both teams now playing like this was the Championship. Early in the 2nd, the Dublin team still putting a lot a pressure on the Starfire defense, got away with another long shot at goal. It carried over Lauren and into the net.  Now down by 1 and a lot of time still on the clock, there were no signs that the Starfire was giving up.  There were 2 or 3 more opportunities for the Starfire to tie this one up.  Including  a break away by Sofia with the defender on her "stride for stride". She was taken down in front of the goal and not a word from the Ref.  The clock finally ran out for the Starfire giving a 3-2 advantage to the Dublin Celtics.

The last game we played was late in the day against the OJSC Premier.  We saw this team play earlier against the Aztecs and they lost 3-0.  I think they were a little disappointed and wanted to take it out on us.  Again,  we noticed that the Premier teams were very fast to the ball.  It wasn't long after this game started that we were defending at the goal line. A little break away by their forward and a shot into the left side panel put them up by 1.  The game continued with us playing mostly defense.  We did get chance. From the sideline, Taylor with that great throw in, dropped the ball in front of the goal. There was a scramble for the ball by at least 6 players , but it was Sarina who got her foot on it and tied it up 1-1.  That would be the last goal the Starfire would score this weekend.  The rest of the half and the rest of the game was all OJSC.  The Starfire would give up 5 more goals before it was all over.  The game ended 6-1.

It was a tough weekend of soccer for the Starfire.  At the competitive level, you play to win them all but, in reality, most teams never do.

We found out that the Aztecs would go on to win it all.

Dara & Sofia (Double Trouble)

1st Place Pismo

Tuesday, July 20

After the Condor Classic was cancelled in January because of rain, we were invited back in July for some exciting soccer by the beach.  The weather this time was not a threat with the hot summer sun beating down and you couldn't find a cloud in the sky.

The girls knew they had a better team this year and were very anxious to show off their new teammates and play some soccer.

Their first game was against Solano.  The first half was played a little out of sync.  It looked like both teams were trying to find some rhythm.  The half stayed scoreless. The second half started off with some changes in the lineup.  In fact , you would have to go back 18 months to see this lineup.  They had Bootie, who played goalie all last year playing left wing. She also was returning from 4 months off because of a injury. We were happy to see her back on the field.  Both teams were still having some trouble connecting their passes.  Maybe a little anxiety or a little rust or both.  As the game went on the players settled down and the level of play went up. About half way into the 2nd half, the momentum of the game started swaying the Starfire way.  A break came when Dara got her first assist of the year, passed a ball from the right side across the goal and connected to Bootie's left foot.  She redirected it into the net.  The game ended 1-0 .

Our 2nd game was against the Dublin Celtics. Last year in Livermore, Dublin scored a late goal to edge us out of first. I think maybe the Starfire would like to forget that game and go home with better results. This game was played out very up temple, but it was obvious that Dublin was not as skilled. It didn't take long when Christina put the Starfire up with a header into the net from a throwin from Taylor. Another Goal was scored from a throwin from Taylor, which bounced off the 'Dublins fullback', right in front of the goal and right in front of Dara's right foot. A third goal was scored by Tay, who broke open up on top. Dublin found themselves down by 3 early in the 2nd and this game was virtually over. Dublin did up the temple another notch and even scored late in the game, but they were no match for the Starfire. The game final score was 3-1.
The first game Sunday was against the Hanford Earthquakes. This game all dominated by Starfire. The Starfire was playing with a lot of confidence and things were definitely going their way.  More goals scored from Taylor throwins. A goal by Tay (2nd this weekend) and another goal by Christina,(2nd of 3 goals she scored this weekend, all by headers) put the Starfire up by 2. The 2nd half  led to more offense from the Starfire. Tiffany contributed by breaking through the defense and banging one into the net. A 4th goal scored by Sofia, who beat the defender up on top and put it into the back of the net. Like the Hanford game, the Starfire did allow a late goal but, it didn't matter. The game ended 4-1.
Manteca was our last game. The Starfire offense was on fire and the defense was spectacular. Another throwin from Taylor to Christina led to a header into the net. A 2nd goal was created from Arrianna who bang a shot off the crossbar and Dara who jetted in like a 747, finished it. At half the Starfire led by 2. The second half, all Starfire. 2 more goals. one more from Dara, and another goal from Sofia was the icing on this Championship cake. The game Score 4-0 and Manteca never had a chance.
Congratulations Starfire with your first tournament this year!

For you Stargazers who have DSL or Cable modem and you couldn't make it to Pismo,
Check out our Highlights real by clicking on the camera.

Monday, June 7

For you Stargazers who haven't kept up with the latest, let me bring you up to date.  The Stafire organization is very excited with the changes that were made to make this team physically and technically stronger. 

After tryouts, we had 10 returning players and picked up 5 more from Elk Grove, Rivercity, and Placer. We wanted to officially welcome our new players, Arrianna, Vanessa, Kelsey, Sofia, and of course Sarina.  You are a great addition to this team.

This year the league has made a commitment to teach and play a more technical game of soccer. In a sense, a higher level of coaching and training is expected.  If you are a player or parent you must have noticed all the training camps and  practices that have been going on all summer long.  The Starfire organization have always expected more from their coaches and trainers and with Cesar and Leo, they already have their players performing at a higher level.

We are looking forward to having a Great Year.  GO STARFIRE!

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