49er United Sierra Blitz: My Site News: State Cup and Season Wrap Up

Monday, April 7
State Cup and Season Wrap Up

Top Eight Finish in the Norcal State Cup (Premier Division)

Tough loss Saturday afternoon against Diablo FC. Another double OT game that came down to the final minute of play before succumbing to a questionable foul and direct kick just outside of the penalty area. All told an unbelievable run by a group of gritty and highly skilled local soccer players who finished the tournament in the top eight teams of the Premier bracket of Norcal State Cup play. All told 120+ of the top u14g competitive teams from throughout Northern California played in this tournament. These teams were broken into eight brackets of play that ranged from the State Championship bracket down to the Copper.  

The competition was intense in the upper brackets. As an example during our opening round of play we faced the top Mustang team in Norcal (1-0W). The competition never let up all the way through to the final round of play where the girls faced three of the top ten teams in Northern California.

·         Barcelona Fusion ranked #7 in Northern California (San Jose).

·         Diablo FC, ranked #8 (East Bay Area)

·         West Coast Wildfire ranked #5 (Norcal ranking) (Livermore).  

Against these three teams the Blitz only gave up one goal in regulation play and pushed all three games into double overtime matches before the outcome was decided. Wow! We might have to rename the team to the cardiac kids or something. I can’t remember playing a double overtime game before and we just had three in a row! Oh vie!

David v Goliath

The scope of the girls accomplishment cannot be applauded enough. Unlike high school sports, there is no separate division for the small clubs who come from small demographic areas. In State Cup play every team plays every team and let the chips fall where they may. You can face anyone from a nationally ranked ECNL team from a club that has over 3,000 players in their organization. To a newly minted comp team fresh out of the CYSA/CSSL ranks. While Norcal does their best to initially seed the teams once play starts it's every man (and woman) for themselves.

This year Norcal initially ranked us again as one of the top 32 teams in Northern CA (we were a top 20 finisher last year). In short, the sledding was tough from the get-go. The journey this year included the top Norcal Mustang team whose club fields 7 competitive teams in our age group alone (1-0W). Teams like Barcelona and Diablo pull from very large geographical areas. Barcelona's web site tells incoming players that they must come from comp teams Silver and above to even tryout for their team. Unreal. 

It just goes to show you that teams from a small demographic area like ours, can make it work, develop players and teams to the highest levels of play while keeping costs low enough so no talented child is denied the opportunity to play soccer on an elite team. 

Amazing Season J

In conclusion, it has been a long journey this year with more than a few ups and downs along the way. Making it more interesting, our region has to play right through the high school and middle school soccer season which meant properly peaking for the final rounds virtually impossible as our team couldn't practice. Note: Many of the other regions, including the three Bay Area teams we faced - have an earlier High School season and are back to training 3x + a week for the final rounds of this tournament.

In spite of the obstacles the girls pulled through to finish near the top of their game. Parents, thank you for encouraging your kids through the ups and downs, great wins, tough losses and being there for them the entire way. 

In short, thank you everyone for another wonderful season and see everyone at the May 16th-18th tryouts where we begin a new. 

Elaine J