Turlock, CA (May 6, 2012) - What a weekend for the Santa Rosa United Freeze Girls U14 side. It won a second straight State Cup Championship, which was the third title in the last four years for the Santa Rosa squad and the first NorCal title. It certainly didn’t come easy though as the Freeze was tested heavily in both the semi-final against DeAnza Force 97 (3-2 win on PK’s 6-5) and in the final versus Castro Valley United Green (4-3). Congratulations to Coach Trisha Ziemer and the great Freeze players: Alison King, Amara Ortiz, Bria Varnbuhler, Brianne Parsons, Brooke Dunbar, Chloe Colbert, Claire Howard, Isabelle Lilly, Maddy Gonzalez, Megan Moore, Samantha Zepponi, Savannah Stoughton, Sydney Rickert, Taylor Ziemer and Yvette Perez.
Sunday’s final was like two games in one as both teams switched off scoring goals to enter the intermission locked 3-3. However, the Freeze controlled the final 35 minutes and scored the decider with just under 10 minutes to play on a Taylor Ziemer shot from inside the box. Taylor received a pass from the right side, pushed the ball from her right foot to her left, deeking the defender to get the keeper moving to the right. Taylor sent a left-footed shot to the keeper’s left and the Castro Valley netminder didn’t have a chance.
The game’s first goal was scored early in the first half. Savannah Stoughton sent a beautiful through ball from just inside the midline at the outside of the center circle to a streaking Maddy Gonzalez who broke away from the defense and took on the goalie. The Castro Valley keeper stopped Maddy’s first shot but the ball rebounded to the keeper’s right in perfect position for Maddy to get to it. Her left foot shot found the center of the net for the 1-0 lead. Castro Valley scored the next two goals but Santa Rosa fought back quickly to tie it up. A wind-blown corner kick dropped at the top of the pentaly box and Isabelle Lilly sent it back into the danger area with a backwards flick to Samantha Zepponi. Zip volleyed the ball towards the far post and it landed just inside the line for the score. The teams then traded goals in the next five minutes with Santa Rosa’s coming off a corner kick from the right side. Taylor sent a ball to the back post that Bri Parsons headed perfectly to the ground. The ball rebounded off the keeper and Megan Moore was there to clean it up by placing a left-footed shot into the corner. That tying goal setup the second half decider. With the victory the Freeze notch the fourth State Cup title the season for the girls side of Santa Rosa United. Earlier this Spring, the U10 Earthquakes, the U12 Tremors and the U16 Shock all won their State Cup finals.
Saturday’s game against DeAnza was simply a thriller as it came down to Claire Howard diving to her left and pushing a ball away with outstretched fingers to stop a tying penalty kick. The whole team raced to Claire in jubilation to celebrate. Congrats to Taylor, Chloe, Claire, Brooke, Maddy & Izzy for making their PK’s!
The first half didn’t go well for the Freeze even though it scored the first goal on a slow roller by Taylor that just elluded the keeper’s outstretched arms. Taylor had somewhat of a breakaway but when she entered the box on the right hand side the defender closed and when Taylor struck the ball she may have gotten part of the defender’s boot with hers. Even so the Force came right back and one of its strikers sent a rocket from the right side to the upper left corner. There was nothing Santa Rosa’s keeper, Claire Howard, could do and the game was tied. DeAnza then took the lead a few minutes later on a strong shot straightaway from a midfielder about 25 yards out just over Claire’s outstretched fingers and under the crossbar.
Santa Rosa regrouped and came out fighting in the second half and it paid off. They simply "refused to lose!" The Freeze had many chances in the second frame and finally got the clincher of a corner kick from Taylor that Brooke chest trapped into the net. Tied at the end of regulation neither team got score in the two golden goal overtime periods even though the Freeze had plenty more chances. Coincidentally, it was DeAnza that had the best chance of overtime as their striker was able to break through Santa Rosa defense and take on Claire one on one. But there’s a reason why Claire is a big-time keeper and she proved it again by making a diving fingertip save with her right hand just as it looked like DeAnza was going to end Santa Rosa’s dream season.