Arsenal tops Palo Alto 3-2 to finish in third place
On a warm, fall weekend in late November, San Benito Youth Soccer League’s Arsenal Girls U13 Soccer Team set out to do what the team had never done before: Finish in the top three in District Cup.
District Cup is a two-day tournament in which competitive soccer teams from the California Youth Soccer Association compete against teams in their age group and division. Teams from Burlingame to Milpitas to Monterey face off against each other, and each is determined to finish within the top three in their division.
The Arsenal Girls Soccer Team was no different than any other team, and fought through each match to obtain their goal at the end.
Arsenal took the field against the Milpitas X Girls on Saturday, a team that finished with a 9-1 record during the season. Arsenal played tough the entire 50 minutes, giving up only two goals – one on a penalty shot – but fell to the X Girls 2-1.
Later that same day Arsenal took the field with the desire to beat the MVLA Hurricanes, despite their morning loss, and they wrapped up day one of the tournament with a 2-1 win.
Marianna Burns scored Arsenal’s first goal with the cross from Ilanna Woods. They added a second goal when Dez Martin’s corner kick brushed off a defender and fell into the goal for a 2-1 lead in the second half.
Jackie Andrade, Elida Medina, Tyler Juarez, Erika Becerra, Valerie Quezada and Colleen Parga all had shots on the goal during the game. The defense, led by Kat Lopez, Itamar Diaz, Paola Lopez and Sierra Jackson, held tough and protected their goal at all costs. Arsenal’s goalie, Tara Postigo, deflected and stopped almost every shot that came at her. Adrianna Ramirez and Aracelli Delgado were also instrumental in the team’s victory.
On Sunday, Arsenal battled the Menlo Park Strikers. Needing to win this match in order to advance, Arsenal gave up one quick goal to the Strikers but dominated the rest of the match, and scored three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 win.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Arsenal came out and fought hard. Andrade scored two goals, one with an assist from Delgado, while a Quezada cross toward the middle for Burns found the back of the net. Ilanna Woods was a force to be reckoned with, having numerous shots at the goal.
Later on Sunday, in the third-place consolation game, Arsenal took the field against Palo Alto Blue, a team that it had defeated during the regular season, 2-0.
But Arsenal, despite having played already three games in 24 hours, came out on fire, and dispatched the Blue 3-2.
Burns scored the team’s first goal, which came from an assist by Martin up the right side of the field, while Medina, Juarez, Becerra, Andrade, Quezada and Parga all kept the ball on Palo Alto’s side of the field. Kat Lopez, Paola Lopez and Diaz protected Arsenal’s side of the field and did not let the ball cross midfield much during the first half.
Arsenal keeper Tara Postigo was awesome at defending the goal, shutting Palo Alto down in the first half.
At the beginning of the second half, forward Sierra Jackson took the ball down the right side of field and crossed it towards the goal. The ball bounced off a Palo Alto defender and went into the back of the net, putting Arsenal up 2-0.
Palo Alto fought back, however, scoring two quick goals. But at the end of the game, Ilanna Woods put the ball out of the goalie’s reach, scoring the final goal of the match, a goal that supplied Arsenal with the third-place trophy.
– Story by Kitina Martin