The West Coast 2013 “Wave” girls took first place in the Manteca FC Indoor league at Big League Dreams. Championship games were held on February 25th. West Coast Wave finished group stages with 5 wins and 3 losses. This helped them qualify for the playoffs as the 4th placed team in their division. During the knockout stage, they were pitted against 2014 San Juan South and 2014 Surf Elite who had won all their group games and qualified as top seeded teams.
Wave played San Juan South in their first knock out game. Coach Arturo prepared the team with defensive solidity and were led in the back by Mazzy Rodriguez, Isabel Colmonero and Khivi Virk. As soon as the starting whistle blew, they began closing down spaces quickly and won every duel which made it really tough for San Juan to progress the ball. Eventually Wave sealed the first goal by Bhavnie Sunil who scored after good work from Layla Crisostomo and Camila Franco. As the game progressed, Crisostomo doubled the lead for West Coast team after phases of domination. San Juan South started pushing for a come back and Wave's defensive unit stood tall thwarting majority of the attacks. Goal Keeper, Lyla Fochler, was phenomenal during the game as she stopped San Juan from scoring when ever they got past Wave's defense. San Juan's attacks materialized when they got one goal back towards the end of first half. Coach Arturo brought on fresh legs with Bailee Kruger, Brooklyn Munoz, Kalista Smalls and Sharanya Singh stepping in and making sure there was no further damage done. Wave started the second half right from where they left off in first half and re-established a two goal cushion through Sunil after an excellent run through the flanks by Crisostomo. There was no way back for San Juan after this and Crisostomo added another one to make the come back an insurmountable task. Clock started ticking down and San Juan cut their deficit by one goal a few minutes before the final whistle. Wave was jubilant on hearing the final whistle with accolades coming from all corners for defeating league's top seeded team 4-2.
Every one realized the girls packed a punch going into the championship where they set up a face off with 2014 Surf Elite boys. Though the team started slow and conceded first, Wave came back quickly as Mazzy Rodriguez equalized for West Coast after a beautiful solo run. Wave tried hard to get ahead in first half as the game was tied 1-1 with goal keepers making excellent saves at both ends of the field. Coach Arturo made few tactical changes in second half and Wave broke the deadlock when Sunil scored with the help of Crisostomo, Franco, and Sunil who worked tirelessly before putting ball in back of the net.Soon the pressure was back on Surf Elite as Wave got into rhythm and started a high press. This approach bore results as Wave forward, Crisostomo, relentlessly pressed Surf Elite goal keeper before scoring team's 3rd goal. Wave started shutting down all attacks from Surf Elite as the game progressed and closed it with a 3-1 win. It was time for cheers & celebrations as the team fought hard and deservedly crowned as champions in their division.
Coach Arturo stated "its the start of an amazing journey for these girls. After losing to San Juan South by 1-8, Surf Elite by 0-4 in league games and then dominate same teams before winning championship is a wonderful feat. It shows how mentally tough this group of 12 girls are and we can't wait to see they develop over the next few years!"
West Coast 2013 girls, coached by Arturo Colmenero and Phil Kalis, are looking forward to the start of Norcal Regional play this month.