EDA ’94 wins Nomads College Showcase championship
SAN DIEGO — After a long season and having lost several players to injuries, the El Dorado Academy ’94 girls soccer team had one last tournament to play March 26-28 in San Diego.
The team rallied around senior goalie Sarah Avery in her last event with the team, played six games and won the championship of the Nomads College Coaches Showcase.
EDA bolstered the roster with some younger club members and faced– some very tough competition.
Saturday the team tied in its first two games, 1-1 and 0-0, against the FC San Diego Sockers and Team Montana, respectively, with the only goal coming on a direct free kick by Marissa Ribiero.
Sunday morning EDA won its third game in group play, a 1-0 victory over AC Milan. Alex Ghilarducci finished a great team counterattack with an assist from Jesslyn Jana with just 35 seconds to play in the game. The win secured the top spot in the group and advanced the EDA to the quarterfinals.
With momentum fueling the team, El Dorado Academy came out strong against a very physical and determined South Valley SC and won 2-0. Both goals were scored by Ribeiro with the first coming on an assist from Jackie Bewley and the second from another free kick. The win secured a berth in Monday’s semifinal contest.
In a very physical, defensive battle against the Palmdale Thunder, there were few scoring chances for either side and the match ended in a scoreless tie, sending it into penalty kicks to decide the winner.
Shooting for EDA Ghilarducci, Kelsey Anderson, Amberly Bole and Amanda Stickleman made their spot kicks and Avery sealed the 4-2 victory with blocks on two Thunder kicks.
Tired and battered, the EDA faced its roughest competition of the weekend in the championship game against the highly ranked Palos Verdes Exiles, who had just won the championship in the Las Vegas College Showcase earlier in the month.
It looked like the end of the road for EDA after giving up an early goal to fall behind 1-0. With less than two minutes to play, Ghilarducci repaid Jana’s assist by flicking the ball into her path and Jana did the rest — beating three defenders right up the middle of the penalty box and sliding the ball under the diving goalkeeper to tie the game 1-1.
The score was still tied 1-1 after two 10-minute overtime periods, and again the outcome came down to kicks from the mark. Jana, Bole and Ribeiro all found the back of the net and Avery put on another amazing display in goal, saving three Exile shots to hand EDA the championship.
The team is now ranked 17th in Northern California for Under 17 girls competitive soccer teams.
“It was a great way to end the year,” EDA coach Jaimy McLaughlin said. “I’m very proud of each and every player on the roster for a very hard fought and mentally grueling six games and sending us home as champions.”