At the Pleasanton Rage College Showcase Junior Tournament, the U9 Girls West Coast Wildkatz showed the future is indeed bright by earning the team’s first tournament title.
The young ladies from the Livermore Club, West Coast SC, played through a difficult group stage the first day winning their first two games. On Sunday they faced a tough Santa Rosa club in the third game needing a win to earn a spot in the U9 Premier final.
The Katz found themselves down early 1-0 and not playing their best soccer, but showed some moxy thanks to a goal by Jayden Morton just before halftime. The girls built on that momentum with key goals by Teagan Conklin and Maddie Flasck in the second half to hold on for a 3-2 victory and earn a berth in the final in the final.
Facing a motivated and organized club from Elk Grove in the final, the Katz again found themselves down a goal early after an excellent free kick. However, the Katz responded like champions as they applied constant pressure led by midfielders MJ Anzo and Ellia Revino, and forwards Allie Santellano and Emma Colmenero.
The Wildkatz came out with even more energy in the second half. Colmenero took on a nice pass from midfield and was fouled to earn a penalty kick. Conklin, took the kick which was initially blocked by the Elk Grove goalie, but Conklin quickly followed up to finish the second chance to even the score at 1-1.
Thanks to a very strong defensive effort led by the group of Jade Castillo, Melanie Lambert, Mia Marks and Morton the WildKatz continued to push forward against a strong and skilled Elk Grove club. Regulation play ended at 1-1 and went into overtime. Once again, nice passing and defensive pressure allowed the Wildkatz to get into the zone where a strong near post shot by Catie Carlson found the back of the net early into the first overtime period get the team’s first lead.
The Wildkatz withstood pressure from Elk Grove and thanks to strong defense and excellent goalkeeping by Revino and Carlson who made fantastic back to back saves in the waning moments in overtime to clinch the match 2-1 for the team’s first ever tournament championship.