Back row: Coach Gary Brown, Coach Ben Eeo, Middle Row: Alexandra Greth, Jamison Gray, Mollie McKay, Summer Reeves, Jenna Brown, Lexie Freeland, Audrey Emmett, Erika Shinn, Caroline Field, Emma Tsztoo, Coach Clifford Wu, Front Row Sitting: Lindsey Schroeder, Alyssa Wu, Jielin Eeo, Kristin Kye
The Pleasanton Rage Orange Pride participated in their first tournament of the season at the Walnut Creek Fall Classic. The round robin play provided some excellent competition.
The first match was against the Dublin Earthquakes. The Earthquakes put up a formidable defensive effort throughout the entire game. Neither side was able to mount much of a sustained offensive attack. There were very few opportunities and fewer shots on net. The half ended 0 – 0. The second half was a continuation of the first half and it appeared the game would end in a draw. With 10 minutes remaining, Jielin Eeo feathered a soft pass to Jenna Brown. Jenna was able to send a well-placed ball into the corner of the net before the Earthquakes could collapse on her and gave the Pride a 1 – 0 lead. With just a few minutes remaining, Kristin Kye was able to dribble around several defenders and passed to a wide open Mollie McKay who blasted a shot off the keeper’s hands to give the Pride a 2 – 0 victory in their opening match.
The Pride opened up the scoring early in their second match against the Walnut Creek Fusion. Just minutes into the game, Jamison Gray delivered a cross from the right side and Jenna Brown took the cross and put it into the back of the net. Summer Reeves was able to push the ball from just beyond the mid-line and past the Fusion defenders. Jenna Brown outraced everyone for a breakaway goal to put the Pride up 2 – 0. Jamison Gray scored halfway through the half and scored again, out-muscling two Fusion defenders for the ball and putting it past the keeper. Audrey Emmett finished off the scoring off a feed from Jamison Gray to give the Pride a 5 – 0 lead at the half. The Pride kept up their offensive pressure in the second half, but the Fusion were up to the challenge and the game finished at 5 – 0.
The final game of pool play pitted the Walnut Creek Wildcats versus the Pride. The Wildcats packed their defensive end and the Pride was unable to unleash any time of offense in the first half. The Pride finally found the right combination midway through the second half when Alyssa Wu found Jenna Brown open in the middle. A quick spin and shot by Jenna into the corner put the Pride up 1 – 0. The Wildcats seemed more determined and carried play in the Pride half of the field. A well-placed shot by the Wildcats went in over the Pride keeper to knot the score at
1 – 1. This time it was the Pride’s turn to take over the game. A great combination from Jamison Gray on the left to Jenna Brown in the middle to Audrey Emmett streaking in from the right for a score put the Pride back up 2 – 1. With five minutes remaining, Mollie McKay made a beautiful cross to a wide open Audrey Emmett who popped in the final goal giving the Pride a hard fought 3 – 1 victory which put the Pride into the championship game against winners of the other bracket, the Pleasanton Rage Aftershock.
The Pride opened up the scoring early in the game on a rocket shot on the right side by Audrey Emmett that ricocheted off the post to Jenna Brown who managed to deflect it to an Aftershock defender. Continued pressure by Audrey and Jenna forced the defender to attempt a clear from deep in her defensive zone that resulted in an own goal. Some precise passing through the mid-field, a pass from Jamison Gray for Alyssa Wu’s one-time shot at the top of the box made the score 2 – 0 in favor of the Pride. Towards the end of the first half, Summer Reeves popped a pass to Jenna Brown who headed it to Mollie McKay. Mollie was able to elude the last defender and scored to make it 3 – 0 for the Pride at the end of the first half. The Pride kept up the offensive pressure in the second half. Kristen Kye one-timed an attempted clear by the Aftershock defense and popped it over the outstretched hands of the keeper. The Pride’s final score came on precise passing from Alexandra Greth to Jamison Gray. The Aftershock keeper had no change against Jamison’s blast making the final score 5 – 0 securing the championship for the Orange Pride.
The Pride were able to control the midfield with major contributions from Lindsey Schroeder and Carly Field. Their constant pressure against their opponents caused many turnovers and their timely passes helped transition the Pride to several breakaways, which resulted in several scores. Alexandra Greth, Lexie Freeland and Emma Tsztoo led the Pride defense. Time and again their speed and quickness frustrated the opposition. Erika Shinn, the Pride keeper, provided steady goal keeping and came up with key saves throughout the tournament. Her leadership was one of the big reasons for the Pride’s successful run at the tournament.
Coaches Ben Eeo, Gary Brown, and Cliff Wu were proud of the Orange Pride’s accomplishments and more importantly the camaraderie and unselfish play they exhibited throughout the tournament.
Congratulations to all the Orange Pride girls for winning the 2014 U14 Girls Walnut Creek Fall Classic tournament!