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Petaluma has two No. 1 seeds in President’s Cup

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.

The Petaluma United Clash and the MCL BRICENO 97B under-15 boys teams, both from Petaluma, garnered No. 1 seeds after the first round of the 2013 CalNorth (CYSA) President’s Cup, held at Cherry Island in Rio Linda.

The Petaluma teams both battled to a 1-0-2 records, earning them five points apiece, with identical goal differentials of +2 (scoring five and allowing three in three games).

In round one action, the Clash found themselves in an early hole, behind by one goal in the first half of each of its first two games, but they battled back to earn a one-point, 1-1, tie against semifinalist Redwood Peninsula Blitz in the early Saturday morning game, on a Kevin Rojas goal with assists from Ivan Barajas and Tyler Guptill. After allowing a wind-driven, perfect free kick to sail into the net early in the game, the Clash’s defense solidified to preserve the tie.

In game two, against Mission MYSL San Francisco Barcelona, the Petaluma Clash found themselves behind 2-1 after the first half, on another Rojas header goal from a Tyler Guptill free kick assist. Again, the defense shored up to win the second half, with excellent saves by Kyle Harmina and brilliant backline tackles by David Sammon, Erik Fisher, Jeffrey Lopez, Nicolas Petri, and Jason Van Tighem. The tying goal was initiated by a 40-yard assist from defenseman David Sammon to Nicolas Taylor, who settled the ball in the box and slammed ball to the upper shelf to hit the inside of the cross bar and into the net.

It was win, tie, or go home against the Redwood Juventus Pumas on Sunday, and Kyle Harmina with his vaunted defense, produced a clean sheet with a shutout, combined with two Clash goals to preserve the win. The first goal came early in the opening half, as Guptill settled the opposing goal tender’s kick, setting up another header from Rojas with the ball bounding over the goalie’s head into the net. For the second half goal, Ivan Barajas bombed a 35-yard score over the reach of the goal tender, just under the cross bar, having been set up by Tyler Candon.

Coach Seth Campbell, who is trying to bring the Petaluma United team to the next level (Gold Division I) was proud of his scrappy team. Campbell, who has coached Petaluma United girls teams to success, praised his team, saying, “You guys battled back from adversity and did not give up. I have seen other teams that got behind and just gave up and phoned it in, but not you guys.”

The Clash dug themselves into an early hole in the first two games, but battled back to a tie, and then. on Sunday, they brought their game up a notch and defeated the only team with a win from the previous day.

With two No. 1 seeds going into the semifinals at Cherry Island on Sunday, there is a good chance that a Petaluma team will play for the NorCal Championship in a couple of weekends at Bartholomew Sports Park in Elk Grove.

Earlier this year, in California Youth Soccer Association league action, the Petaluma Clash defeated Briceno, 2-0, but each team will face a Redwood City opponent in the semifinals.

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