Tahoe’s tournament ends a successful season | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Tahoe’s tournament ends a successful season

The Come Up for Air soccer tournament held annually in South Lake Tahoe was a huge success again this year. Sixty-two teams from all over California and Nevada competed in the final American Youth Soccer Organization tournament of the year for the area. This tournament is the cumlination of the AYSO’s second season. Seventeen teams from this area started practicing over six months ago and have completed very successful seasons. The tournament was held July 21-22 with two Tahoe teams winning championships in their divisions.

In the under-12 girls division at Come Up for Air, the Tahoe Thunder was one of the two local teams to win a title. They beat the Tahoe Storm (another strong Tahoe team) 1-0 before tying the Pacific Fog Rollers 1-1. In the semi-finals against another Tahoe squad, No Limit, the Thunder emerged victorious 5-1.

The finals were a repeat of the earlier matchup with the Fog Rollers, who have been a nemesis of the Thunder for several years now. Coach Paul Kushner believes his team may have played their best game of the year, winning 5-1. The has been a season of growth for the Thunder, in their first year in this division. A strong finish diminished early season setbacks. The Thunder won their last two tournaments with the most exciting win being a double shoot-out against rival and friends , the Tahoe Turbulence. Both the Turbulence and the Thunder are moving into the CYSA next season.



The other Tahoe champion was the U14 girls’ team, No Limit, who dropped the first game of the tournament 1-0. Led by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Megan Roberto, Becky Burns, Chelsea Calder, Haley Donovan and Brooke Schussel), they proceeded to play great defense and shut out everyone else for the rest of the tournament. No Limit beat Prunedale in their second game, 1-0. In a hard-fought semi-final contest, the was tied in regulation and ended in sudden-death overtime on a corner kick from Nolie Pierini, volleyed in by Lindsay Morino, No Limit emerged victorious.

The final game was a runaway 7-0 win over Camarillo. No Limit got two quick goals and put them away. Coach Jack Burns saw his team improve with each successive tournament, hard work and committment led these girls to a deserved championship.



In the u-10 girls division, the Tahoe Nightmare finished fourth. They lost their first game 2-0 and tied the next two 0-0. According to coaches George McKool and Larry Brown, they played intense soccer and were very competitive in a strong tournament field. The highlight of their season was a first place at the Pacifica Fog Cup.

Liz Ferguson coach High Altitude, a first-year U10 girls team in their first year of select team play. They won a few Toiyabe league games this year, but failed to win in the Come Up for Air tournament. They did, however, end their season on a high note by tying their nemesis, the Tahoe Lightning, who had beaten them every time the two hooked up.

The Lightning, coached by Paul Kushner and Jim Norton, was another first-year team in the U10 girls division. They finished fourth in the tournament by virtue of goals scored. They were seeded in the top division and played well against older teams.

In the U10 boys division, the Chivas finished fourth with a 1-2 record. They won their first game 2-0, had a great season and were fun to coach according to Cesar Rodriguez. They finished third in the Toiyabe League at the Pacifica tournament. The highlight of their season was a second-place finish at the Comstock Tournament where they did not lose a game, but were awarded second because of fewer goals scored than the winners.

Crossfire coached by Jake Burns and Paula Jiru played well and had a great season. They went 0-3 in the tournament, but finished with a strong game and the lead before wearing down against the winner of the bracket.

The Tahoe Lakers had a great tournament. The only first-year team in their division of league had a long season. The U10 boys team was the least experience,younger and smaller than any team they played, but they improved with each game. They did not let the loses diminish their spirit and as the season wore on they improved and became very competitive. In the Toiyabe League tournament, they finally tied a team that had beaten them three times, once by the score of 8-0. Their fortitude was rewarded with their first win, 6-2, in the Come Up for Air tournament, where they finished third. Coach Andy Braun believes this team has unlimited potential as the returning team in this division next year.

In the U12 boys division, the Tahoe Strikers was a very competitive team. Although they went 0-3 in Come Up for Air, they finished fifth. Coach Greg Psilopolous would like to thank all the boys for a fun season. They were a good group of athletes who gave 100 percent and improved throughout the year. The highlight of their season was playing into the semi-finals of the Davis World Cup.

The Red Vipers were another team to get their first win of the season in their tournament. They struggled with age and size, but did not let their spirits. Jesus Caro had a great season coaching a great bunch of kids who played as a team and improved dramatically over the season.

The other team in the U12 girls division team was the Turbulence, who finished third in an extremely strong division. They advanced to the semi-final game against their rival, the Pacifica Fire Hawks, who share the Northern California State Championship in their division. Turbulence raised their level of play and stayed tied 1-1 through regulation and won in overtime, ending the Hawks 31-game winning streak. It was a great season said Coach Jim Ferguson, “We reached most of our goals.” The girls won the Toiyabe League with a 10-2-4 record; beating teams who they hadn’t beaten in four years. They also went on to the finals of two tournaments (High Desert and Come Up for Air). They finished above or at .500 in every tournament.

Tahoe Storm was a divers group that came together in this tournament. They matured, improved and played better as a team as the season progressed. Although they went 0-3 in this tournament, they were seeded into the hardest division and lost to the eventual champion (Tahoe Thunder), 1-0. they finished their league with a strong third place. Coach Jeff Sweet believes the girls improved tremendously.

The U12 girls team, No Limit, finished third in the tournament. They won their first game 4-0 and came back to tie the second 2-2 after being 2-0 at halftime. In the semi-finals, they lost to the eventual champion. Coach George McKool is extremely proud of this group of girls who came together this year, played hard and improved.

In the U14 boys division, the Tahoe Rage finished 1-2, winning their final game of the season. Most of the boys on this team are first-year players in the division and were beaten early in the season by older, stronger teams, They developed into a very competitive team over the course of the season with a second place finish in their flight at Davis. Coach Bob Fiegal believes it was a great season enhanced by wonderful players and parents.

The Tahoe Chaos had a great tournament. They finished second in their division. The kids and parents were well represented, Coach Jose Gonzales complimented the referees in the tournament for doing an outstanding job in a very difficult situation. The core of this team is seven player who have been together for three years. This year they won their first championship in tournament play and finsih third at Davis while beating the No. 1 team fromt he opposite division. Next season, the team is moving CYSA.

The Tahoe Tahoe Tigers won one game and lost two. The second loss was in their semi-final game, they were down 2-0, but came back to tie the game. Unfortunately, an untimely penalty cost them the game. They had a great season and won the champiohsip at both the Bishop and Pacifica Tournaments. They also finished third at the High Desert Classic and second in their league.

The Tahoe Ice Breakers were the final team in the tournament and had a great season. As a first-year U14 girls team, they struggled early but developed skills throughout the year. According to coach Kim Parsons, “they were motivated and never gave up.” They had to work hard all season to catch up to the older girls and made a great showing in the semi-finals at Davis. At Come Up for Air, they were 0-2-1 and fiinished in fourth place.

Appreciation goes to Marsha Roberto for her work organizing the concessions. Fred Vermillion did a great job on the fields, moving goals and refereeing. David Olivo did a fabulous job under very limited time contraints in preparing the fields. Jeff Sweet prepared the program, while Paul Kushner, Greg Psilopolous and Raphael Aguirre were also helpful wherever needed. There were numerous people who donated time to referee games, even people without participating children like Terri Shehadi, Rick Meyer and David Lanni. These people and the tireless months of work by tournament director George McKool made it a huge success.

The tournament makres the end of the select season and the beginning of the regular season. Soccer fun day will be Saturday August 4, it will be held at Tahoe Paradise in Meyers. There will be free snow cones and hot dogs. Players will be able to meet their coaches and other players from their team. The South Tahoe Polic will bring out the radar machine to test the strength and speed of the soccer legs in Tahoe. There will also be Major League Soccer representatives and soccer equipment available. Find out about referee and coaching clinics and remember everyone plays.


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