The Stanford Tsunami U11 Boys battled all the way to the top of the podium at the NorCal State Cup.
After winning the Silver 1 Division of the NorCal Fall League, the Tsunamis were placed at the Platinum Level of the NorCal State Cup.
At first, Coach Roberto Magellan thought the level would be too high for a team that was going to move to the Gold Level in the Spring of 2018.
"I was confident, though, that the boys would step up and be able to at least compete at the higher level" said Coach Roberto.
So the team decided to train over the Winter and also play Futsal. They kept busy, training twice a week and playing Futsal at the Stanford-Palo Alto Futsal League.
The team played 6 games in order to be ranked at the proper level. The loss to a very strong Force by 3-2 did not take away the hopes of winning their Division.
It was the only loss. The team had also tied Liverpool Bay Area.
The Quarterfinal Game arrived, exactly against the only team that was able to stop the Tsunami... De Anza Force...
The defense was the main focus. Goalkeeper Alessio was already training privately with a Goalkeeper Coach.
Defenders Kyu, Xia, AC, and Sebastian worked hard at training on their defensive skills, and so did all the forwards.
It was important for everyone to help win the ball back, so forwards Josmar, Omer, Eliel, Vinay and Oiva were asked to do the double function, attack AND defend.
With only two midfielders at a time on the team's 3-2-3 formation, fitness and ball skills were the main topic for the midfielders Cyrus, Chee, Ryan and Wilson.
Against Force, knowing they could win the game and level the Tsunami, the plan was to defend with 9 and counter attack with speed and precision passing.
Tsunami won 2-0.
The Semifinal was against Mustang SC, that same afternoon. Coach Roberto had prepared the team to defend and it was difficult to change his players' mindset for that second game of the day. The team decided to go against the wind on the first half, which facilitated things for Mustang, who had chance after chance being stopped by the defensive system which included 3 magisterial saves by Goalkeeper Alessio.
When the team progressed through the second half, the Stanford boys grew in confidence. With 5 minutes remaining, Coach Roberto started thinking about the 5 players who would take the eventual PKs, but the waves of the Tsunami started coming to shore... 1, 2, 3 goals in the last 4 minutes of the game... BOOM BOOM BOOM!
Players and fans (parents and siblings) burst into applauds, always respecting the desolate Mustang boys who had played a wonderful match...
Then comes the FINAL... The final was against Burlingame SC, well coached by Coach Robert Rix.
Again the wind was present, and again Tsunami played against it on the first half. The cautious mindset was still in place and the boys could not relax and play their passing game. Some players were too excited and others a bit nervous for playing such important game. A big trophy and great pride awaited the winner, while yet a smaller trophy would definitely console the loser. After all, reaching the championship game of such prestigious event was already a great accomplishment.
Burlingame had a fantastic first half, with a few clear changes going wide or stopping at Alessio's hands. Tsunami had also met the Burlingame keeper making saves from shots by Josmar and Eliel...
Second half story was not different than te encounter with the Mustangs. The team grew in confidence, started keeping more the possession going from left to right back to left, looking for the breaks and breakaways... Finally it started, with 8 minutes remaining 1, 2, 3 BOOM BOOM BOOM! goals just like that.
Video of the first goal... https://youtu.be/IkGlIQueIXQ
Congratulations Stanford Tsunami!