West Coast Soccer Defuses Fusion – The U17 West Coast Wildfire girls delivered a 2-0 shutout to Livermore Fusion’s top ranked team. Solid ball control in the middle and the impenetrable back line of West Coast defused the Fusion offense and broke their eleven game winning streak. West Coast Wildfire moves to the top of the league bracket undefeated after 3 games and with an unblemished record of seven goals for and no goals against. Picture is outside back, Sara Shea, battling to win a ball and streaking past Fusion opposition. Shea was stellar in defense while also providing the assist on the second goal of the match.
West Coast Wildfire U17 – The West Coast Wildfire U17 girls delivered an October surprise to top seeded Livermore Fusion. In a Norcal Premier NPL “Match of the Week”, Wildfire came ready to do battle in this highly anticipated crosstown rival event.
At the kickoff, Fusion quickly moved the ball down the field toward West Coast’s goal, full of energy and confidence they managed to get a few shots off but none on frame. With a few quick adjustments by West Coast’s center defenders, Leila Anzo and Krissy Keller, the game quickly turned around and Wildfire began to make strides against the Fusion defense.
With both teams displaying a solid defensive line, much of the game was played in the middle. Neither team could get any offensive plays in motion. The first half ended 0-0.
As the second half started, coach Troy Dayak changed West Coast’s strategy and moved things around to strengthen the team’s match ups. This enabled West Coast to attack with more flow. The first score of the match came in the 56th minute from a run by Megan Clifton. Clifton moved the ball to just outside the 18’ where she fired a shot just over the Fusion goalkeeper’s fingertips into the right corner of the net. West Coast moved ahead 1-0.
With momentum on their side, West Coast center-mids Bella Barbero, Sierra Martin, Rachel McCarthy, Sydney Mendoza, and Amanda Zeck, continued to control the tempo and flow of the game. They won most of the balls in the middle, made solid tackles, and connected passes to their Forwards and Wings. The strength in the middle forced Fusion’s defense to play the ball to their outside mids where they were quickly shutdown by West Coast defenders, Megan Clifton, Mayzin Kung, and Sara Shea.
With the center of the field in control, West Coast now started to move the ball from the back, creating offensive plays to the Wildfire front line of Tori Borgna, Callie Crain, Tatiana Elsea, Kayla Grisham, Savannah Seals, and Kate Wallace. The second goal of the game came in the 82nd minute from Wallace who connected on a nice run into the box from a first time cross from Shea. Shea, received a nice pass from Rachel McCarthy and rolled a perfect pass to a charging Wallace who positioned herself inside of the defense to get a foot on the ball and place it into the left corner. West Coast moved ahead 2-0
In the final five minutes, Fusion managed to get a few corner kick opportunities. They came close with a stiff wind at their back, a curved ball went towards the back post of the goal. Shea jumped, deflected it with her head, and the ball cleared it out of play. The match ended 2-0 West Coast over Fusion. Wildfire’s goalkeepers MacKenzie Long and Brianne Radliff are credited with the shutout.
Both teams were undefeated coming into NorCal’s “Game of the Week” The Livermore Darby win for West Coast Wildfire propels them to the top of their Norcal NPL bracket with an unblemished record of 3 wins and no goals against. Next up for Wildfire is another crosstown match against Pleasanton Rage ECNL