Youth Soccer News: Cal South Girls Lead the Way at ODP Championships
Cal South’s girls showed who was boss over the March 10-11 weekend, winning both the 1995 and 1996 US Youth Soccer Girls Olympic Development Program Championships held in Frisco, Texas. Meanwhile the Cal South boys finished in third position at both levels. It was an exciting weekend for the dozens of young soccer players who came together from throughout Southern California to compete on the national stage. All teams involved in the ODP Championships had reached the semifinals by winning their Regional Championships.
The 1995 Girls Region IV champion Cal South team, led by top scorer Kayla Mills of Slammers FC, had no trouble in the semifinal match against Georgia, posting a stellar 5-0 win. The victory earned them the right to go up against New Jersey, who had managed a 1-0 win over Ohio South earlier in the day. In the finals, it was all Mills, scoring for Cal South in the 13th and 68th minutes to cement the 2-0 victory for the California girls. The win avenged a 2011 loss to this same New Jersey side.
In addition to Mills, four other Slammers FC players grace the 1995 Cal South team roster. Other clubs providing top players include So Cal Blues, South Bay Force and Legends FC (three players each), FRAM (2), So Cal Infinity and San Diego Surf. Two San Diego area residents were part of the team: Ana Cruz, who plays for So Cal Blues, and Meagan Harbison from Surf.
Mills scored three goals in the tournament to lead all scorers. Mellessah Rangel (Legends FC), Savannah Levin (Slammers FC), Sarah Fajnor (So Cal Infinity) and MacKenzie Cerda (Slammers FC) each scored once for Cal South in the competition.
While the 1995 girls were working their magic on one field, the 1996 girls were making their own statement elsewhere against a strong Virginia team. Cal South had defeated Florida in a tight 2-1 match on Saturday afternoon on goals by San Diego Surf’s Pilar Torres to move on to the finals. Earlier Virginia had downed Michigan 1-0 in a morning game.
The championship game was a hard-fought end-to-end scoreless match until late in the second half. In the 75th minute Torres collected a corner kick in the middle of the 6-yard box and fired a shot past the Virginia goalkeeper for the 1-0 victory. Torres’ three goals in competition tied her with Florida’s Jessie Scarpa as the top scorers in the 1996G competition.
In addition to Torres, San Diego residents on the 1996G Cal South team included Surf teammate Abigail Callahan from Coronado, Hailey Harbison (Del Mar Sharks) and Oceanside’s Christina Settles who plays for West Coast FC. The Cal South squad included four players each from West Coast FC, FRAM and So Cal Blues, along with Surf (2) Real So Cal, Legends FC and Strikers.
While neither boys’ team reached the finals, both the 1995 and 1996 squads made good showings to finish in third spot. After falling 1-0 to Virginia, the 1995B team defeated Tennessee 3-1. Joshua Goodman (Arsenal FC), Jose Nuno (Arsenal FC) and Ricardo Ruiz (Fullerton Rangers) scored for Cal South in the consolation match. In the 1996B competition Cal South shook off a 3-0 loss to Michigan to defeat Virginia by a similar score. Marcos Bueno (Olimpica United) scored twice and Rey Ortiz (Carlsbad Lightning Elite) added a single goal in the win.
San Diego area players on the 1995B team included Kyo Adachi and Dominic Chavez from Albion SC and Ernest Reyes from CV Manchester. Other clubs providing players included two each from Arsenal FC, CZ Elite, West Coast FC, PV Exiles and Fullerton Rangers, and single players from Strikers, Roadrunners, FRAM and Santa Barbara.
The 1996B team included three players from San Diego County: Carlsbad’s Ortiz, Saul Resendiz from RSF Attack and Orlando Trujillo from Atlante. The dominant team in terms of players was Real So Cal, with seven team members, followed by Fullerton Rangers with three and Olimpica United, CZ Elite and FRAM with one each.
Related Article: 2012 Girls’ ODP Camp