When you are talking about determination, it's hard to find a more extreme team than the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club Girls Under 13 squad.
After a wrenching 1-0 loss in their first game, the girls fought back to reach the finals last weekend in the X-Treme Cup in Huntington Beach, taking second place against the Claremont Stars.
All the more remarkable is that In their second tournament of the season, they did it without three of their players.
They did it with another player, "Stopper" Kelly Clark, battling the flu. And they did it with defender Taylor Anderson jumping in wherever Coach Adam Darby needed her.
In their second game on Saturday, the Silver Elite team trampled the Rancho Santa Margarita SC 8-0, with forwards Vanessa Capra and Lisa Lim scoring two goals each, and ace midfielder Jordan Royer putting the ball in the net four times.
But the real drama of the two-day tournament came Sunday morning, as the girls approached their third game against Gold Coast X-Treme. If CVSC didn't get a perfect score of 3-0, the team was through for the tournament. CVSC's Under 13 Girls weren't going to let that happen. With Coach Darby's boys' team playing at the same time, assistant coach Julie Broussard stepped in.
Although Gold Coast was strong, CVSC was stronger. The defense never let up. Gold Coast kept trying to score, but even when they did get close to the net, goalie Eirene Kim was there to stop them.
CVSC's offense was unstoppable too. First Lisa Lim scored. Then in a fierce fight in front of the net for control of the ball, Olivia Sierra booted it in.
CVSC was ahead now 2-0, with just minutes to go. Then, in a stunning breakaway down the field, Jordan Royer scored the third goal, clinching CVSC's spot in the finals.
In the final, forward Lisa Lim scored the first goal, giving CVSC a 1-0 lead over the Claremont Stars. CVSC's defense held tough, with Savannah Rhoads, Olivia Sierra, Jordan Royer, Sara Davis, Kate Sappell,and Savannah De Sousa challenging the Stars on every pass and every play, and sending the ball rocketing toward the goal.
But the Stars managed to score, sending the final into Sudden Death overtime. CVSC's defense was relentless, and offensive players Vanessa Capra, Hannah Gerald, Lisa Lim, and Nicole Martel challenged the Stars' defense with their skillful passing.
In overtime, the Stars scored. The Stars beat the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club, 2-1, for the X-Treme Cup championship.