Crusaders 2008 Academy Girls Advance in State Cup
In the face of adversity and against all odds, our 2008 team coached by Ivan Melendez stunned the competition and advanced to the next round of the tournament, with a 1-1-1 record over the weekend. The team prevailed with a limited roster, a stellar defensive game and several missed goal-scoring opportunities, which coach Ivan regarded as a “phenomenal performance”.
Playing in a very difficult group, the team opened against powerhouse Beach FC. The game was a battle, with the game with end to end action in which the opposition managed to squeeze a 2-1 win. The next game was another very tough opponent, Murrieta Surf, which resulted in a scoreless tie. However, according to Coach Ivan, in this game, Crusaders played good soccer and were outstanding in defending but unfortunately failed to capitalize on the goal-scoring opportunities they created. The girl’s determination and skill was finally rewarded in the third game with a win over South Slammers 4-2 securing a place in the next round in the tournament.
Coach Ivan realized that it was going to be a very difficult start to this tournament so along with assistant coach Lauren, they designed a strategy that was based on efficient defending and taking good care of the ball. As coach Ivan puts it “The weekend was all about closing shop in the back and making the most out of the chances up front” And this they did. Coach Ivan credits all players for such an outstanding weekend. Players such as Jade Frutos, providing the necessary leadership and relentless defending, Lizzy Barefoot playing on both sides of the ball with such determination that coach called it “the force of a tornado” and Jocelyn Maldonado, taking the reins of the team in the midfield, playing to exhaustion and yet refusing to come off the field. “There is not a single girl that I could have asked anything more of” said Ivan.
Crusaders congratulates the coaching staff; Ivan and Lauren and every one of the girls for such an outstanding performance. We are proud of you, ladies!
The team is back in action this weekend in the next phase of the competition.