The Odwalla August Player of the Month goes to not a single player but an entire team, the Mountain View Los Altos (MVLA) Lightning. The Lightning won the 2010 US Youth Soccer Under-14 Girls National Championship on Saturday, July 24th in Overland Park, Kansas. They faced some of the top talent in the country on their way to the title, posting a combined record in those events of 22-2-1. During that stretch, the Lightning scored a total of 65 goals and allowed only 7.
The Lightning began their quest for the national title in August of 2009 and went on to win the Far West Regional Championships in June 2010, attended by state champions from the 14 Western US states. The four regional champions competed in round robin group play from July 21st - July 23rd. The top two teams then faced one another, with the Lightning taking home the national title and etching its name onto the coveted Elmer Ehlers Cup.
For the championship game, the setting could not have been more dramatic as thunder and lightning rolled through Overland Park, Kansas, delaying the start of the game by almost two hours. The Lightning and the Dallas Sting 96 (South Regional Champion) faced each other during group play, where the Sting handed the Lightning their first loss since the Cal-North State Cup finals.
Both teams had their scoring opportunities during the match, but remained scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods. The championship came down to penalty kicks. With lightning flashing in the distance, the Lightning’s keeper stopped the first shot by the Sting. All five of the Lightning's shooters converted their kicks, helping the squad win the title, 5-3.
Coach Erin Montoya was ecstatic about the victory, stating, “This was a great win not only for the Lightning but for our MVLA club as it is the first girls national championship in club history. The Sting are a well-coached team and had a terrific tournament. The championship game was an amazing atmosphere with our fellow Cal-North supporters cheering us on and pumping up the girls."
Team (alphabetically by last name, listing city of residence and high school): Mimi Akaogi (Cupertino, Monta Vista HS), Jaye Boissiere (Los Altos Hills, Menlo School), Jacquelyn Caginia (Los Altos, St. Francis HS), Paige Crowley (Cupertino, St. Francis HS), Melissa Fulton (Mountain View, St. Francis HS), Julia Goupil (Los Altos, Los Altos HS), Jessica Jochheim (San Jose, Pioneer HS), Celeste Kaashoek (San Jose, Leland HS), Gabriella Kaplan (Emerald Hills, Castilleja School), Caroline Olivero (Los Altos, St. Francis HS), Gabrielle Matulich (Los Gatos, Mitty HS), Hannah Reed (Santa Clara, Mitty HS), Isela Rivera (Manteca, St. Mary’s HS, Stockton), Sarah Robinson (Los Altos Hills, Gunn HS), Natasha Wein (Palo Alto, Palo Alto HS), Caitlyn Wong (Sunnyvale, Homestead HS), Melissa Wood (Belmont, Carlmont HS). Joining team for U15 Season - Fatmata Kamara (San Jose, Branham HS)
The Earthquakes and Odwalla would like to thank the MVLA Lightning for further reinforcing that the Bay area is the preeminent place for world class soccer.