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June 27, 2006 > Palmeiras finalist at Las Vegas Regionals

Palmeiras finalist at Las Vegas Regionals

by Yaregal Gebreyesus

The Union City Palmeiras girls Under 13 division 1 soccer team climbed all the way to the final game in the June 10 to 13, US Soccer Club Regionals in Las Vegas. They nearly won it all.

The Palmeiras started their first day of play when the faced the Glendora FC team from Cal South. In a tough match, the offensive forwards and midfielders dominated, but failed to find the net. The Palmeiras defense effectively shut down Glendora, and with several saves by goal keeper Megan Kufeld, the game ended in a scoreless tie.

The next day, the Palmeiras out-played the Tabagators 93 Green from Nevada. Forwards, including Sara Brathwaite, Khyra Conerly, Paige Diamond, and Natalie Griffen, attacked the net relentlessly. Conerly led the way with a 3-goal "hat trick." The Palmeiras midfield including Johanna Blackwell, Ananda Gebreyesus, Joana Lopez, Sol Luna, and Natasha Springer dominated and controlled the pace of the game. In addition, the defense of Sabrina Alvaro, Karina Arrescurrenaga, Emily Clark, Ashley Flores, Crisalyn Garingan, and Valeria Wuest shut-out the Tabagators - a 3-0 win for the Palmeiras.

In the semi-final round, the local girls made good, playing a tight match against the HSC Bulls 93 Kaula from Hawaii. Natalie Griffen scored on a penalty kick after Paige Diamond was fouled just outside the box. Then Joana Lopez tenaciously found the net late in the game. Megan Kufeld saved several shots on goal, but the Bulls played tough to the end of the game which resulted in a 2 -2 tie. However, this was enough to advance the Union City Palmeiras into the championship game!

On the fourth and final day, Palmeiras played the Heat FC 93 Orange team from Nevada for the championship. In a tough game both offensively and defensively, the Heat scored a single goal in the first half that proved to be the difference. Although the Palmeiras played hard, the game ended 1 to 0. The Union City Palmeiras took home second place honors and life-lasting memories. Palmeiras are coached by Miguel Arrescurrenaga with assistance from Arturo Wuest and Emilio Flores.

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