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November 14, 2007 > Firebirds in Directors Cup

Firebirds in Directors Cup

Submitted By Blaise Castren

The Firebirds followed up a perfect regular season by finishing second in the FC Fremont Under-12 Girls Division of the Directors Cup last weekend, Nov. 10 and 11. The Firebirds, whose record stands at 14-1-1, will play in the Crossroads Tournament in Dublin on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18, against teams from other East Bay cities.

The team dropped a heart-breaking 1-0 decision to the Lunachics, a team it had defeated 2-0 during the regular season, in the Directors Cup championship match. The deciding goal came early in the second half and was only the fourth the Firebirds had allowed this season. The Firebirds' offense didn't come alive until late in the match when Raquel Rodas' shot was stopped and Jenna Wondka just missed twice.

Defensively, Alondra Gamboa and Samantha Stephens had standout games. During round-robin play, the Firebirds defeated Quicksilver and the Strikers 3-0 and battled the Destroyers to a scoreless tie.

In the opener, Ashley Campbell and Rodas scored first-half goals. Rodas' goal came on a nice pass from Lauren Youhanna. Elena Strom added a clinching goal in the second half off a nifty Synclaire Hamilton assist. Goalie Cerrena Vera made a nice save on a breakaway, and Ciara Valdez had two shots on goal.

In the win over the Strikers, Cindy Tafolla scored the first goal, and then Claire Castren gave the Firebirds a 2-0 halftime lead when her long shot bounced over the goalie's head. Rodas tallied her 19th goal of the season in the second half when she was set up by Amy deLanda.

In the final round-robin game, the Firebirds needed a win or tie to advance to the championship match and faced the Destroyers, a team that had scored twice against them in the regular season.

After a sluggish start, the Firebirds gained control late in the first half and didn't allow the Destroyers across midfield for the first 15 minutes of the second half. During that period, the Firebirds' offense put tremendous pressure on the goal. Strom was just wide on three shots while Rodas, Campbell, and Wondka barely missed on two occasions each. Kailey Richardson and Eva Liu were all over field defensively and Kayla Gladish had a good game at forward in the scoreless tie.

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