Posted On February 14, 2017 by PUSC
This wasn’t the first time a State Cup final was battled out between Placer United and Santa Rosa United. The two Clubs have a history of competing hard fought finals, and this match was no different. With a welcome relief from all the rain, a sunny afternoon in Modesto produced another topsy-turvy classic!
SRU came out sharp and scored within the first five minutes of the game, taking advantage of some defensive nerves. As the half progressed, Placer grew into the game but without creating too many clear-cut chances. The game was direct and physical with both sets of defenders doing well to deal with aerial balls. With halftime drawing close, SRU were indebted to their outstanding goalkeeper for producing a couple of top class saves to keep the game at 0-1.
Coach Don rallied the girls during halftime and Placer United came out flying, only to be undone several minutes into the second half by a fabulous strike from distance, making the game 2-0 to SRU. Placer United didn’t let their heads drop and hit back quickly, Archana Jeyarajah nudging home at the far post from an in-swinging corner to give everyone hope of a come back. Placer continued to push for the equalizer but were continually thwarted by the impressive SRU Goalkeeper. In the final minute, the break through came via a familiar source. Nalani Damacion’s shot from distance was expertly tipped over by the GK; from the resulting corner, Jeyarajah was again on hand to prod home in an almost identical goal to her first, to level at 2-2 and take the game to overtime.
Placer United certainly had the momentum and were awarded a penalty early into the OT. Once again, however, the SRU goalie came up big for her team and managed to save the spot kick, diving low to her right to clutch the ball. Nerves started to set in on both groups and the remainder of overtime was played out without too much incident, meaning the game was headed to dreaded penalty kicks.
Both groups dealt with the tensions incredibly well, scoring all eight of the penalty kicks. With PK’s tied at 4-4 and SRU up next, Goalkeeper Alyssa Savig produced a marvelous save to give the advantage back to Placer. We had to score to win the cup! Up steps Erica Grilione, undeterred from her PK miss earlier in the game to confidently slot home to give Placer United the victory and title of 05G State Cup Champions. Congratulation to all the girls and Coach Don on a remarkable season and epic comeback! Go Placer!