San Juan Soccer Club’s U14 Boys Lightning ’99 Blue soccer team won first place at Cal Cup 2012 on the heels of winning the 2012 NorCal Spring League Region 6-7-8 title.
Lightning ’99 Blue consists of players from El Dorado Hills, Folsom and the Sacramento area, as well as attracting players from as far out as Stockton, Dixon and Reno, Nev.
Lightning finished three preliminary games on Friday and Saturday, June 22 & 23, against the Santa Rosa South Black Oaks (2-0), Ethos FC Saints ’99 (7-0) and East Diablo YSL Impact ’98 (3-0).
The championship game was held June 24 at 9:30 a.m. against the Stockton Monarcas FC Flames ’98. The Flames finished their preliminary games against Galt FC United ’98 (4-2), ACC Mavericks Cosmos (5-2) and San Juan Lightning ’99 White (2-0) to earn their way to the final.
Lightning and Flames have met before. Flames won their first meeting at the Manteca FC Spring Invitational (3-1). Lightning won their second meeting (3-1) to win the 2012 NorCal Spring League Region 6-7-8 title.
The first half of the championship match looked to be Lightning’s to win. The team displayed strong ball control with patient and precise passing. Numerous plays were set up in Flames’ territory for dangerous attacks on goal. Many shots on goal missed just wide or too high, with one shot bouncing off the top of the goal and back into the field of play only to be kicked out by a defender. The game whistled into half, scoreless.
The second half was a bit of a messy back-and-forth with many balls kicked high into the air and several fouls called to keep the game under control. Although both teams had serious scoring opportunities, the defense on both ends held near impenetrable lines and both goalies had their share of great saves. Regulation time ended, 0-0.
Flames won the coin toss and started the kickoff for sudden death overtime. A slightly imprecise pass was taken by the Lightning midfield and Blue was on the attack. At a minute-and-a-half into overtime play, a corner kick started by No. 22 Jorge Garcia was perfectly placed into the Flames box where it was touched by the goalie and landed where No. 23 Nick Clemmer kicked it in for the win.
At the awards ceremony Coach Anthony Chimienti said to the boys, “We had two objectives this weekend. One was to play smart football and really connect with our passes and use the field. And two was not to allow any goals. We accomplished both.”
Lightning ’99 Blue plays again in the Davis Legacy College Showcase, July 20-22, and at Surf Cup XXXII, Aug. 4-6.