RSF Attack vs Carlsbad Lightning GU14 Playoff - Photo Credit Aaron Jaffe
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RELATED ARTICLE and GU14 game pictures: Presidio Soccer League Resolves Bracket Competition with Playoff.
In the San Diego Presidio Soccer League there are rivalries between clubs. None of this is news, what is new is the 'playoff' between teams to determine position in the Presidio League bracket for the upcoming 2011/2012 Soccer Season. UPDATE: Congratulations to RSF Attack for their win and to both teams for playing great competitive soccer.
This is what happened recently and a playoff date was set for the match etween RSF Attack and Carlsbad Lightning GU14 teams to determine the Premier bracket.
On Thursday July 14 at Aviara Park, Mike Jones’ RSF Attack GU14 AA-A team took on Joaquin Valdez’ GU14 AAA girls at Aviara Park in Carlsbad.
Any other day this would be just one more match between two teams, but that night these girls were fighting for the right to play in the Presidio Gaming League’s Premier division in the upcoming youth soccer season.
A crowd of nearly 300 took to both sidelines to watch the girls battle with eventual winners RSF Attack taking the game 2-0.
Of course a one off game to decide such a big fate would not finish without some controversy. Both goals left the Carlsbad Lightning soccer club frustrated as they felt that there were several referee calls that did not fall in their direction.
It was a rather gritty affair with both teams going into challenges hard and not willing to concede any ground. When asked before the game RSF Attack’s coach Mike Jones said “I model our play off of the Dutch total football style and focus on keeping possession.”
Carlsbad Lightning’s coach Joaquin Valdez shared similar sentiments in his pre-game talk with his girls when he stated that their game plan on the day was to “keep possession and get the ball wide into corners so the speedy forwards and wingers could get in behind.”
However what took place on the soccer field represented a game where neither side wanted to take additional risks as clearances from the defensive third were made rapidly and often turning the game into a direct, long ball match where the winner would be who made the least amount of mistakes.
Great saves by RSF Attack’s goalkeeper kept Jones’ girls in the game and inspired them to work even harder to keep the clean sheet. Carlsbad Lightning were pressing hard in both halves of the game with both goals being scored against the run of play.
RSF Attack’s first goal came off of a scramble in the box that was eventually poked in the net to score after a great ball was played off-the-corner kick. There was a question of 'handball' inside the box as a Lightning defender attempted a clearance that appeared to have struck an RSF Attack player’s forearm.
The referee deemed it ball to hand and let play go on which led to the opening breakthrough. Before the corner was taken however the Assistant referee on the Lightning sideline waved for an offsides call against Attack but was overruled by the head referee.
For the second goal a mis-clearance by a Carlsbad Lightning player off a free kick allowed an Attack forward to pounce on an isolated Lightning defender and eventually convert the chance into a goal.
It appeared that she was offsides on the play at first glance, but when questioned the same assistant referee noted that the Carlsbad Lightning’s right back was keeping the RSF Attack player onside. Emotions ran high on the Carlsbad Lightning sidelines after the goal, but the Lightning coaching staff was excellent at maintaining the discipline showing a great example of sportsmanship.
|RSF Attack vs Carlsbad Lighting GU14 Playoff Match
When asked about his thoughts on the game and the play for promotion type format, Presidio Soccer League's President Bob Turner stated “I really like the idea of playing to move up. The quality of teams can be so similar in these types of situations that it is very difficult to decide on paper who should move up and who should not.”
Deciding the playing location was not taken lightly either as Turner continued, “We tried to play the game at a neutral venue, specifically Mira Mesa High School, but the coordination did not match up between the two teams. Eventually RSF Attack agreed to play here at Aviara and the turnout is great for both sides.” After the game concluded, Turner noted that overall “this was a success.” And indeed it was, making the game the focal point as opposed to an uncontrollable decision where countless variables come into play.
All Photo Credit: Aaron Jaffe
Related Articles: Bob Turner, President of Presidio League's Interview on the New Playoff option