We Will Miss You Mary
Dear Blues Family,
Upon much reflection and with a heavy heart, I have decided to retire from coaching at the end of this season. It has been an extremely difficult decision for me, but I am satisfied that the time is right for me to make this change in my life. Juggling my full-time business, coaching, my other hobbies, and the increased needs of my extended family, has become quite challenging. Those of you who know me well know I don’t do anything less than %100. So something had to give.
I began at the Blues 15 years ago this spring. At that time I was approached on a field while coaching an AYSO All-Star team by two interesting characters (Tad and Larry). They asked if I would be interested in coaching for the Southern California Blues. I recall Tad, being the honest person he is, saying at that time, “We don’t know if it will work out. I just want to be honest with you”. They had no idea at the time who they were dealing with.
So many memories, so many kids, and so many characters in this crazy youth soccer environment. I will miss it all. What a wonderful life experience. The toothless kids I started with are now beautiful, educated, successful, young women. Watching them grow into these amazing human beings has been, by far, the highlight of this journey. Championships fade, trophies tarnish, but the kids, teens, and young women who’ve passed through The Ranch. Wow! That’s what I’ll take with me forever.
Thanks for the great years. Young ladies, thank you for enriching my life in ways you will never understand until you work with, or have children yourselves. Parents, thank you for entrusting your children to me. I think it’s the ultimate compliment for someone to put their children in your hands. Knowing that I had a small piece of their development as human beings is such a wonderful gift. Blues Coaches, you are all my wacky brothers and I have no idea who will keep you all in line, and feed you now. Tad and Larry, I just can’t thank you enough about the opportunity you gave me 15 years ago – I had no idea how much it would impact my life. I absolutely love my Blues family and will miss you all terribly.
With Sincere Love,
U10 Mary Mustang Champs
U10 Naimie Captures Mustang Crown
Over the August 5-7 weekend the U10 Naimie team invaded the Bay Area and they did a lot more than visit Fisherman’s Warf. We seriously doubt they even got to San Francisco although we can’t speak for the parents.
It seems the kids were too busy taking care of business in San Ramon/Danville as they marched through a most difficult group with three of the top teams in Nor Cal. Wouldn’t you know it they came out on top in all three which sent them to the quarters and of
In the semis after some questionable scheduling confusion it was determined Mary’s girls would play against El Dorado; the team they had lost to last year in the Mustang Final. El Dorado went on the all out attack but the girls survived playing amazing defense until Jordyn Gather hit the net with a top corner shot from the left side; 1-0 Blues onto the final vs Elk Grove FC.
In the final vs Elk Grove Kendyll Fritts opened the scoring for the Blues with a low angle shot that deflected off the opposing keeper before Kendall Carter followed up the rebound and smashed it into the net. From then on it was another outstanding defensive game from all. Rachel Bastone was key in the back line and both goalkeepers (Sarah Javorsky and Ryan Campbell) were in great form. Congratulations girls, hope it was fun!
Blues Alumni Help MIT
Two Blues Alumni: freshman Elena Gianotas (second from left) and junior captain Andrea Park (fourth from right), both defenders, started every game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Championship Tournament this past week and helped bring the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Soccer Team the 2011 Conference Championship and an NCAA DIII Tournament Selection.
Andrea who also was an integral member of a Blues U14 National Championship team has helped lead the MIT team to two titles in three years -- the first titles in 20 years. She is also a two-time All-Conference selection. Keep representing Andrea and Elena!
Oaks Polo Classic
(L to R) Gracie Burns, Hailey Clark, Madelyn Elo, Joslyn Elam, Hailey Burgett, Sabrina Javorsky (goalie), Katelyn Rix, Annie Larson, Sophia Pearlman, Paige Brakke, Ella Giannola, coach Otto behind team.
(Above) Members of the U10 Kale girls high five one another as they come back to the pack after cashing in one of their pressure packed penalty kicks at the finals of the Oaks Polo Classic.
|(Above) U9 Otto goes on to defeat Blades in the finals of the Oaks Polo Classic in PK's after loosing to them in pool play. It was a hard fought battle that went into PK's after a 0-0 score. The girls level of play was admirable in the 90 plus degree heat and goalie Sabrina was amazing with 4 saves and a PK herself.
||U10 Kale recently participated in the Oaks Classic Tournament at Jserra July 30/31. This is their 2nd tournament championship of the summer ; HB Sand Tournament Champions, Oaks Classic Champions and Wolfpack Tournament Finalist. Girls are playing well and having a successful summer.
Congratulations on winning PK's 3-1 in the Oaks Classic Final.
For the first time ever the So Cal Blues sent a representative to the Schwan's USA Cup presented by PUMA to participate in the vElite Division. Our Blues U16 Draluck going U17 will traveled to Minneapolis Minnesota to take on the competition including international teams from Sweden and Canada.
The tournament is held at the legendary National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota;certified by the Guinness Book of Records
as the largest soccer complex on earth. The girls were hosted by PUMA and stayed together in door rooms which was great for team bonding. Food was also provided for them at the college dorms. Ha ha the girls had to used to cafeteria food.
The girls made it to the finals but lost in overtime to Lamorinda in 110º heat after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the second half on a last second goal by Kelly Fitzgerald (Stanford). We hope to go back next season with other Blues teams if there is interest.
Benner Gives Back
Lauren Benner decided to combine two of her passions—soccer and volunteering—and the winning combination has caught the eye of Nike. Benner, 17, a junior at Aliso Niguel High School with a 4.3 GPA, has been playing club soccer for 10 years for such teams as the SC Blues, which has won state, regional and national championships.
Nearly all of her teammates are destined for top schools, many with full scholarships. She wants to attend school on the East Coast and, hopefully, work for the CIA. In the meantime, Benner decided to meld her love of the game and giving back last year when she started a small charity to support an orphanage in Tijuana called cleatsforacause.org.
She reached out to soccer clubs and schools for old soccer and other sports equipment. The items collected are driven to the orphanage, Lily of the Valley, where the kids benefit from the items.
But things came to a standstill, and she had to think fast. "After draining the local sports economy for used equipment, she went bold last month and lobbied executives at Nike, Adidas, and Puma," said her father, Tim Benner.
But a few weeks ago, Nike sent her $5,000 in new soccer equipment—stuff that has not yet hit the stores. "This was a real shot in the arm for her efforts. We have not made the trip down, but we plan to within the next few weeks to give the items to the kids in the orphanage," he said.
The young Benner this week is finishing up her school year, which includes four AP classes and first-string orchestra. She also works at the Ocean Institute as a science intern. Needless to say, she's busy.
To read the interview with Lauren go to the Laguna Niguel Patch and scroll down to the Q and A.
Blues 3rd Annual Golf Tournament
The 3rd Annual SC Blues Golf Tournament was held on October 17th 2011. This year’s event was hosted at Aliso Viejo Country Club.
In the past three years this event has raised more than $50,000 to support various programs within the soccer club. The proceeds from this year’s event will help support the SC Blues College Advisor Program (CAP).
More than 70 golfers (and non-golfers) enjoyed a great day of golf and most of all fun, which was followed up by the evening’s events which included a helicopter ball drop, dinner, silent auction, raffles, and awards.
This year’s ball drop winner was the Haughton family from the Draluck U-13 Team. The winning foursome was (Stephan Ward, Drew Haughton, Billy Joe Hobert, and Randy Dodge).
The SC Blues Golf Committee would like to thank all of the families, coaches, sponsors, and volunteers for your support and helping us make this such a fun event.
We look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!
Congratulations go out to Blues U17 Dido for clinching the Region IV Championship. The team punched a ticket to the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships which was played July 27-31 at Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona.
Emily Wadell wrote an awesome accounting of the regional week and how it went for her team. Read Emily's article below! There is
Unfortunately the team was unable to capture the championship but no doubt the experience of participating in a tournament like this will be with these players for a long time to come. Way to go girls we are proud of you.
Now in its 31st year, the San Diego Surf Cup continues to be a major summer showcase for youth soccer. For two weekends in July, the San Diego Polo Club in Del Mar was filled with soccer players from across America (and Europe) who competed in this invitation-only tournament where U.S. Women's Superstars Rachel Buehler, Alex Morgan, and Hope Solo all have played.
With only a week or two of official practices under their belts some Blues teams headed down to San Diego on both weekends to compete in one of Southern California's major tournaments.
During the summer tournament season the Surf Cup is not the only show in town. All of our Blues teams will be busy on weekends either traveling or playing on the fields of Southern California including the Labor Day Weekend where we will host our own Blues Cup. Good luck girls!
Women's World Cup
Did you see it? The FIFA Women's World Cup began on June 26 in Germany with the Final on July 17. For more information about the tournament or Women's International Soccer history click the logo on your left. Coach Bobak is quoted as saying "the best coach in the world besides Larry is watching high level games then going out and playing on your own". The games were televised so hopefully the girls had a chance to watch a few of them including the exciting tournament final between the United States and Japan. As you no doubt know by now Japan became the World Champs defeating the U.S. in penalty kicks.
On another note you may be asking yourself if any Blues players took part in the FIFA Women's World Cup? As a matter of fact, yes! But although the Blues have several players in the Youth National Team program, unfortunately we didn't have any alumni on the Full U.S. Women's Team. Rob Rennie will be happy to know, however, that one of our alumni was part of England's National Team. Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley (2002) who played at local Cal State Fullerton and currently plays professionally for Sky Blue in the Women's Professional Soccer League was one of England's goalkeepers. Congratulations Karen and good luck! Hopefully we can get you to come back to Rancho Capistrano to tell us about your experience.
Zerboni Player of Month
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Two goals and two assists, coupled with her consistent delivery of hard work earned Western New York Flash Forward/Midfielder McCall Zerboni the majority share of votes, and the honor of being named Women's Professional Soccer's Player of the Month for May.
The Flash's 5-0 record in May can be largely attributed to the tireless work of Zerboni, who appeared in all five May games for the Flash, while logging a total of 353 minutes on the field. The San Clemente, CA native earned top honors in Week 6 as the Player of the Week after notching an assist and two goals, including the game-winner in the Flash's 3-2 victory over the Boston Breakers on Friday, May 13. She assisted the equalizer in the Flash's May 29th match against the Philadelphia Independence, and her hard work in this game turned out to be the difference when she was clipped, while dribbling through Philly's 18 yard box, which set up the game wining PK.
Zerboni's achievement marks the first time in franchise history a Flash player is honored as the Player of the Month. The veteran midfielder/forward has been a player in WPS since 2009, when she played for the Los Angeles Sol team that captured the inaugural season championship. She spent the 2010 with the Atlanta Beat, and joined Western New York as a free-agent during the 2010-11 off-season.