A South Bay Matrix team of combined U14 and U15 age players won the U16G division of the Rangers Thanksgiving Tournament last weekend. South Bay went undefeated in bracket play before winning the championship match vs. Nado’s U16 team in a dramatic penalty kick shootout 4-3. It was a 1-1 tie in regulation. South Bay’s Xanthie Ordonez hit the winning shot from the mark. It touched off an immediate celebration from a packed sideline. Supporters included players from the Lil Matrix U9g team, and parents and extended family, many of whom took the field to congratulate Ordonez, Goalkeeper Natalie Cassidy and teammates.
Ordonez, a midfielder, and Briana Gonzalez, a defender and mid, were key additions, having been called up for the tournament from the U14G South Bay Matrix. Coach Hector Romo’s U15G team was pleased to have the help and cap off its season with another tournament championship, the squad’s 12th tournament victory since U10 competition. During the march to the Rangers tournament championship, South Bay defeated teams from San Diego United, Albion, and Freedom. “We had a challenging Presidio season, so it was nice to end the calendar year on such a high note,” said Anthony Millican, team manager and assistant coach. “Full credit to Coach Romo for his dedicated training and faith in the girls. Our new players improved tremendously over the course of the season, and our veteran players showed they are still a force to be reckoned with. There was quite a bit to be proud of. We look forward to building upon this in the months ahead.”
South Bay had a balanced attack during the tournament, with goals coming from Jeny Tapia, Leslie Fonseca, Ordonez, Briana Romo, Berenice Portillo, and Andrea Mendez. In addition, Leah Delgado notched her first goal of the season–and that came during the tournament championship. Over the course of the season, the defense was anchored by Romo, Tapia, Gabriella Millican and especially Nicole Rea. Midfielder Nat ‘Jelly’ Morales created chances for her teammates throughout the year with stellar footwork. On the wings, Deavine Guijarro gave opposing teams fits. Angelica Lara was the most improved.
For now, a majority of Coach Romo’s players will be starring on varsity high school teams across the South County. Watch them shine! View video of penalty kick shootout here: http://youtu.be/94aepgBJkLc