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February 13, 2008 > Newark Earthquakes win Under-11 Boys' Soccer Association 2008 Cup Title

Newark Earthquakes win Under-11 Boys' Soccer Association 2008 Cup Title

Submitted By T. Michael Gallagher, and Dorian Decius
Photos By courtesy of Dorian Decius

Newark made its mark on the California Youth Soccer Association by winning the 2008 U-11 Boys Association Cup Championship. This was the first championship of this type for the Newark Soccer Club in over ten years.

Newark Earthquake players are Miles Bradford, Ryan Callahan, Tommy Gallagher, Eddie Higueres, Luke Lombana, Mario Moreno, Vicente Padilla, Ernesto Silva, Steve Silva, Devin Strouse, Andrew Veloza, Travis Welch, Ryan Wilson and Romario Zelaya. Earthquake Coaching Staff includes Ann Lombana, Andy Stewart and Rossi Bradford.

The Newark Earthquakes completed a stunning run through their post-season tournament schedule by defeating Sonoma SC Strikers on a cold, wet and windy Sunday morning at the Mustang Soccer Complex on Super Bowl Sunday. Goalkeeper Lombana, and the rest of the stingy Newark defense, bent but did not break and managed to preserve the lone goal of the game. In the 20th minute, Veloza fed the ball to Gallagher, who slotted the winning goal with a left footed shot just inside the far left post for what proved to be the winning margin.

Moments later, Newark nearly added another one when the Sonoma keeper cleared a dangerous ball outside the penalty area; Gallagher controlled it and launched a long distance shot near midfield over the keeper's head. As the ball skidded toward the open net, the nimble Sonoma net minder tracked it down just inside the field of play to make the amazing save. This was just one of many exciting moments in a game of close calls, first-rate skill and exceptional sportsmanship.

Back in November, Newark won the U-11 Boys Division 3, Al Caffodio District III Cup, by going undefeated in round-robin play and defeating arch-rival Dublin Force, 3-1, in the final. After a successful second place finish in the U-12 league-ending Indoor Seasonal Playoffs at Bladium Sports Center in Alameda, the Earthquakes moved back outdoors.

The team traveled to Lemoore, and won 4-0 against Walnut Creek United, 2-1 against a stubborn San Ramon Sharks squad and finally emerged from round-robin play by pushing past Redwood City/Palo Alto White, 4-1.

In quarter final play held at Mistlin Sports Complex in Ripon, the Earthquakes used a relentless attack on a frosty wet field against the Mustang Rovers to win, 4-1. Newark was lead by Ernesto Silva's natural hat trick (three) of goals along with another nifty score by Veloza.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the semifinal match-up was a tight battle the entire game as the teams were at 1-1 for most of the match. In the final minutes, sweeper-turned-attacker Wilson broke free for Newark late in the match to blast the game winner past Mountain View/Los Altos Triumph, 2-1. It was another exciting tight match featuring end-to-end action and stellar defensive play by Wilson, Bradford, Steve Silva and Higueres at sweeper.

The final match against Sonoma on Sunday, Feb. 10, was a terrific match. Combined with adverse weather conditions that made every contested ball in the air an adventure, Sonoma displayed extreme skill and a knack for intercepting long passes as they applied intense pressure on goalie Lombana and company the entire match. The nimble Sonoma keeper was exceptional in anticipating shots on goal and making timely saves.

As the coaches said at the awards ceremony, it was an intense match that could have gone either way. Sonoma outscored their opponents 22-2 during their dominant run to the Cup Final, and surely they will make a run at the title next year.

Congratulations to all teams on a thrilling season and good luck to the Earthquakes next year!

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