Youth Soccer News: Carlsbad Elite GU15 Rise to the Challenge of a New Season
The Carlsbad Elite GU15, coached by Carlsbad’s Director of Coaching Michael Duggan, is a team on the rise. National State Cup Champions and Far West Regional Semi-Finalists, they are a force to be reckoned with. The team has scored 214 goals and only conceded 39 goals. After playing 95 games they have amassed an impressive record of 72 wins, 12 ties and only 11 losses in its last two seasons. These young ladies play the game of soccer with great passion and heart. Combine this with their technical skills and their dedication to play as a team, and it’s quite easy to see why their record is what it is.
|Carlsbad Elite GU15 and Coach Michael Duggan after winning the 2012 GU14 Cal South National State Cup
The team is made up of a number of players who have been playing with Carlsbad Lightning Soccer Club since they were 8 years old, as well as a variety of players from as far away as Poway, Temecula, San Diego and San Marcos. There are several impact players on this team who have been selected to play for the Cal South ODP program as well as the Regional Team and even the National Program.
“It’s always nice to see players develop through the ranks of the Carlsbad Lightning Soccer program,” says Duggan. “The most important and pleasing thing to me has been watching these girls develop over the last couple of years into soccer players and more importantly into strong individuals. It’s not just what you do on the field but also what you do off it and they are all straight A students.”
The GU15 team is also coached by Assistant Coach Marisa Zambetti. Marisa grew up in the Carlsbad Lightning program, playing from GU10 to GU18. Marisa went on to play at the collegiate level for California Lutheran University, where she received her degree in Liberal Studies. While earning her degree, Marisa also coached at the Varsity level for Thousand Oaks High School for three seasons. During those three seasons, she coached her team to three league titles along with a CIF championship.
Marisa is currently a teacher in the Carlsbad Unified School District where she grew up. In 2011, Marisa was offered the Varsity coaching position at San Marcos High School, where she continues to coach today. In her first season at SMHS, she led her team to a league title and finished as quarter-finalists in CIF playoffs.
|Carlsbad Elite GU15 Head Coach Michael Duggan and Assistant Coach Marisa Zambetti at the 2012 Cal South National State Cup championships
November will see the GU15 Elite team playing in the U16 flight at the November Nights College Showcase before heading off to North Carolina in December to compete in the National League. Before all that, the squad hopes to have taken care of business in Far West Regionals by securing a spot in Hawaii and to also defend their title as Coast League Premier Champions from last season.
It’s a tough schedule but they are up for the challenge.
“They are a fantastic bunch of players to work with. There’s always a positive buzz at every practice and they love to play the game,” says Duggan. “My job is to develop these young ladies to be able to play, and when we do so we are a strong opposition for any team. Top to bottom, this group of girls is a solid team of technically strong players who are all committed to playing at the highest level. It’s no surprise that there has been a lot of interest from college coaches wanting to know what our schedule looks like over the next six months, a nice complement for all the hard work.”
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