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March 4, 2009 > Off The Chain CYSA Founders Cup semi-finalist

Off The Chain CYSA Founders Cup semi-finalist

Submitted By Ed Ohye

FC Fremont Division 4 girls team, Off the Chain (OTC) completed its most successful season by reaching the semifinals of the CYSA Founders Cup, which features top teams from across Northern California.

On Saturday, Feb., the tournament did not start well, as a rusty OTC lost 5-0 against the strong Livermore Blue Intensity in an error-prone game.

OTC did not let that get them down, and played much better in the second game against Oakland's Las Aztecas. Although playing better soccer, OTC found themselves down 1-0 at the half. In the second half, OTC continued to attack and was quickly rewarded when Erica Ohye scored on a pass from Selina Mahesri.

OTC's midfield of Rhian Dunn, Molly Cory, Karina Paonessa, Chrystalle Navarro and Nicole Gronski made sure most of the game was played in the Aztecas side of the field. OTC's efforts were eventually rewarded when Ohye was brought down in the area and Paonessa powered home the resulting penalty kick to make it 2-1. Las Aztecas evened the game but good defending, particularly by Jessica Spano and Kelly Makela, ensured OTC shared the points at the final whistle.

In Sunday's final game against the Santa Rosa RV Sparks, the OTC girls played their best soccer of the first weekend and quickly went two goals up. Going into the second half, the score remained 2-0 with both defenses playing well, although Stephanie Schembri, Zarin Khan and Selina Mahesri all had chances to increase the lead. OTC won, 2-0, which secured them a place in the final eight teams.

In the quarterfinals the following weekend, OTC met the Elk Grove Chaos and OTC's defense of Christina Kim, Kinsey Mead, Tiffany Sarchet and Megan Dunn, with goalkeeper Sara Talooi, put together a near-perfect game to shut out the high-scoring Chaos.

Chaos had the territorial advantage, but OTC managed to create as many goal chances as Chaos, but great goaltending at both ends of the field kept the score 0-0. In the resulting penalty shootout, Rhian Dunn and Sarchet both scored while goalkeeper Talooi made a couple of saves to give OTC a shoot out win, 2-1.

The win set up a semifinal game against Clovis FC Rebel Stars. OTC took an early lead when Ohye put pressure on the Rebel defense leading to an own goal. The whole OTC team played their hearts out as the Rebels pushed more and more players forward, trying to level the score. Just as it looked like OTC was going to survive until half time, the Rebels mounted an attack down the right wing leading to the tying score.

In the second half, OTC came under increasing pressure as the Rebels tried to score the winning goal. OTC battled valiantly, stopping every effort, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.

In the following shootout, Kinsey Mead and Tiffany Sarchet scored. But it was not enough, as OTC fell, 3-2. OTC's third-place finish in the Founders Cup capped an outstanding season for the FC Fremont team.

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