A girls’ soccer team that was formed three years ago was notorious for not scoring, and familiar with almost getting to the championship in tournaments but failing at the end. But all that came to an end this weekend when the Almaden Quicksilver Green 98 won the 2011 Santa Cruz Classic. This was a hard-earned first for a team that has seen significant growth over the last few years.
At the back, Head Coach Richard Spencer
Back Row (L-R): Lindsey Freeze, Gina Gentry, Alexa Bajtos, Natalie Matian, Andrea Gutierrez, Madeleine Gibbons-Shapiro, Emily Hinojos, and Assistant Coach James Gibbons-Shapiro
Next Row (L-R): Lyndsey Campbell, Gabriela Roggy, Holly Azevedo, Morgan Bigelow, Kendall Freeze, Michelle Calcany Blair
Lying in Front: Samantha Satalino
The team won the first game of the tournament on Saturday, September 24, with a shutout victory over the home team Santa Cruz Jaws 4 - 0. This first game was a high-scoring affair led by forward Emily Hinojos who scored two of the Quicksilver goals. Coach Richard Spencer was quite pleased with the overall effort and focus demonstrated by our girls. The second game on Saturday was a much tougher game against the 49er United Scream from Auburn, but we held our own and kept it at a 1 - 1 draw. With only four teams in our bracket, the ability to make it to the final championship game was determined by the outcome of our game on Sunday against the Eureka Storm. Our defense once again knew what was needed and the team scored another 4 - 0 shutout to secure the last title game slot.
This was the first time our Quicksilver 98 Green girls played in a championship game. Coach Spencer asked the girls to stay within themselves, play their game, beat the other team to the ball, and play aggressive soccer for 60 minutes. And boy did they! The opposing team, Pajaro Valley United, who had given up no goals throughout the entire tournament, was evenly matched by our team. Late in the first half, forward Natalie Matian blasted a shot from just outside the goalie box to score the first and only goal of the game. In the second half the Pajaro team had some key shots, but defender Morgan Bigelow saved a ball that was about to get past the goal line and foiled the last real scoring chance for the opposing team with just minutes left to play. With an incredible amount of excitement on the field and the sidelines, Almaden Quicksilver Green 98 kept their 1 - 0 lead in the second half and finished as CHAMPIONS!