Posted On February 15, 2015 by PUSC
Placer United U12 Girls won the Norcal State Cup Championship yesterday in thrilling fashion in Modesto, CA. The girls made their second consecutive trip to the State Championship game. In the 2014 final, Placer came up short but avenged last year’s defeat with a nail biting victory.
The road to the State Cup Championship was very impressive. The girls were seeded number two after last years appearance in the final. In the first round, Placer swept the competition, scoring 17 goals and conceding 0. They had a 7-0 win over Sagebrush Patriots, and back to back 5-0 wins over Sac United Extreme Red and San Juan Blue. In the second round, Placer opened up with a 6-0 victory over North Bay Elite Dynamo and a 4-1 win over Sonoma County Alliance North. The girls then drew 0-0 with Bay Oaks to reach the final eight of the tournament. In the quarter-finals, Placer defeated Inter Rage Academy Storm 3-0. In the semi-finals, the girls played against DeAnza Force Blue. Both teams played quality, possession soccer and our girls won 2-0.
In the first half, Placer controlled the tempo with sharp passing to feet and keeping the ball away from a very dangerous West Coast team. The girls had created a number of scoring opportunities and finally put one away midway through the first half. Emma Schafer collected a ball from about 15-yards out and hit a diagonal bullet into the side netting, splitting the West Coast defense. After the goal, there were a few more chances to widen the lead but Placer came up short.
In the second half, West Coast began to press and were very direct in their play. The Placer backline and GK were tested in the air as a number of balls were served forward. The wind had picked up and the direct balls were carrrying toward the Placer goal. The girls remained calm and continued to play the game in possession and create scoring chances. Midway through the second half, West Coast got on the board after high pressing the Placer’s backline and hit a quick shot. Moments later, West Coast took another shot from outside that skipped into the side netting.
Down, 2-1, Placer did not panic and continued to play composed. As the game was coming to a close, the girls won the ball in midfield and played a ball in behind the West Coast defense. Forward, Hannah Wirth, received the pass, took a touch towards the goal and scored the equalizer with only a few minutes left to play. The game then went back and forth and both teams buckled down on defense as the whistle blew for the end of regulation.
The game went to overtime with two five minute periods and golden goal. The first team that scored would be crowned State Champions. If no goals were scored, the game would be decided by penalty kicks. The sidelines were tense as the referee blew the whistle to begin overtime. Directly from the kickoff, Placer strung a number of passes together. Kellie Pagador overlapped the center forward and received a ball into space giving her a one versus one with the West Coast central defender. Kellie dribbled inside with her right foot towards goal, then quickly cut the ball back onto her left foot creating a shooting window from 18-yards out. The crowd was silent as the ball was struck and it was perfectly tucked into the back post which sealed the victory.
The Placer United players quickly rushed onto the field to celebrate the victory! What a run! The team had eight wins and one draw. Placer United U12 scored 35 goals and only conceded three. Congratulations to all of the players, families and Coach Don on a fantastic game and a remarkable season!