Local U14s make bold soccer statement
South Lake Tahoe’s California Youth Soccer Association U14s used a tournament in Auburn to make a statement about Tahoe’s soccer programs.
Tahoe, kicking off its first season in CYSA, dominated the tournament Saturday and Sunday, winning its four games by a combined margin of 32-1.
“Basically, it was their first CYSA tournament,” said head coach Steven Head, who coaches the team along with Hugo Lizaola. “We told them (the CYSA teams) thought they weren’t very good, so the kids got all fired up.”
South Tahoe roared out to a 4-0 start for the season. In Auburn, the squad won its first game, 13-0, over Placerville’s Gold Country Eagles. In the second game, they shut out the Rockland Thunder 9-0. The third game was the only close contest for the local squad as it defeated Auburn’s 49er United Arsenal 2-1, when one of the Arsenal’s six shots on goal trickled in. Tahoe wrapped the tournament with another shutout, defeating the Roseville Rebel Dogs 8-0.
Jose Medina scored 15 goals for Tahoe in its first four games. But Head attributed the domination to good play all around.
“I’d say it was pretty much a total team effort,” Head said.
The U14s continue to hold one advantage over many California squads in that the players have been working together since April, while most of the other teams have been together only for a few weeks. The eight-person core of the local U14s has been playing together for four years. The squad’s mission is to change some ideas about soccer in Lake Tahoe, and it has the talent to back up its statements: 14-year-old team member Leon Abravanel made the first cut for the Olympic Development Program for California’s District 6.
CYSA schedules tournaments each week in August. The local U14 squad has Saturday and Sunday off, but resumes play Aug. 28-29 when it travels to Eldorado Hills for a 16-team tourney. The next week, it travels to Folsom for another tournament on a schedule that takes the team all over northern California. Head likes his team’s chances.
“If they don’t win both of them, there’s something wrong,” he said. “They’ll do pretty well.”
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