Claremont AYSO team looks forward after big win
By Andrew Alonzo | email@example.com
“We went down there with good expectations, but definitely did not expect to walk away with a gold medal,” team manager Eric Feezell said. “It was really heartening to kind of see them come together, play for each other at the tournament, and perform so well in their first outing as a club team.”
The tournament was hosted by the San Diego Wave Fútbol Club, a National Women’s Soccer League team.
The AYSO Southern California Central United Girls 2012 team took down the Phoenix Rush Soccer Club, 2-0, in the Labor Day final for the bronze division title. The local team’s journey to the top came with no losses and only three goals conceded against competition mostly from the Southwest region of United States Club Soccer.
Play began September 2 with a 7-3 win over Legends FC, followed by a 9-0 demolition of San Diego Surf Soccer Clubthe next day. The team then bested Chula Vista’s Golden Eagles Futbol Club, 3-0, in Monday’s semifinal.
Despite being a tryout-based AYSO EXTRA program for skilled payers, Feezell said head coach Karina Smith has been pivoting the team toward club contests. The team began its first season in the silver division of the SoCal Soccer Fall League, part of U.S. Club Soccer, on September 9.
“I think [the tournament win] it’s an indication of a lot of upside for our team,” Feezell said. “I think that we have stiffer competition ahead, and I think that the coaches and the players both are aware of that, but it’s a really positive sign for us to be able to come out, adapt to new circumstances, and put our best foot forward and win the games we needed to win when we needed to win them.”
As part of the tournament, participating youth teams were recognized by the San Diego Wave during an awards ceremony Monday and also got to watch a game Sunday night at Snapdragon Stadium, a narrow 1-0 win over the Houston Dash.
The squad consists of Elena Orrison, Eliara Smith, Mayah Licea, Emeri Doshay, Carmen Garcia, Emily Cassidy, Holly Feezell, Luna Bjerk, Peregrine Hodge, Phebe Brady, Sloane Thompson, Elizabeth Eisenberg, and Rubi Alvarez, coached by Smith and Deckard Hodge, Dave Garcia alongside Feezell.