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August 10, 2010 > Mission Valley United Wins Novato Classic

Mission Valley United Wins Novato Classic

By Sanjna Shukla

This past weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 6-8, the under 16 Mission Valley United girls took first place at the Novato Classic. Despite having home field advantage, Novato fell to MVU, 1-0.

Although Mission Valley had possession for the majority of the time, no numbers were put on the board until Sydney Tapia scored late in the game. Novato assumed a more defensive role and was not able to find a rhythm in the attacking half.

Good defense by MVU players Stephanie Wong and Mili Parikh on the wings kept Novato from penetrating and getting any quality crosses. In the first half, Mission Valley had many chances on goal, but was not able to convert any for goals. MVU had shot after shot, but it either rebounded off the crossbar, or missed the corner by a hair's breadth. However, MVU stayed solid and turned up the pressure on the home team.

As Novato started to get worn out, Mission Valley United was in full-on attacking mode and wasn't going to leave the field without a win. Pressure started building up, and as the coaches were preparing their penalty kick lineups, Sydney Tapia hit one right to the back of the net. MVU was determined to clinch the win and played tough defense on the home team until the very last minute. Novato was nowhere close to scoring when the final whistle was blown, and Mission Valley United was crowned champion.

Although Mission Valley United was clearly the most skilled team in the tournament, a few unfair calls by the referee almost cost them the title. In a heated semifinals game against Walnut Creek, a controversial handball was called on Mission Valley in the second half. Walnut Creek was awarded a penalty kick, which they scored to bring the score to 2-1, with MVU in the lead.

Frustration got to the Mission Valley players and many engaged in fiery exchanges with the other team. Fortunately, Mission Valley had two goals early in the game to buffer their slack in the second half. The two goals were scored by sisters Megan and Elizabeth Coffey, both of whom continuously pressured the defense and forced multiple errors.

Their first game was against Mustang Impact, which resulted in a 1-1 draw. Mustang scored in the first half and put the pressure on MVU. Mission Valley breathed a sigh of relief as Anita Kavalan scored a goal to seal the tie.

In the second game of the tournament, the Mission Valley United girls displayed their dominance in a 4-0 win over West Valley Fusion. Sydney Tapia had a hat trick as she scored three consecutive goals. Although MVU was already dominating, Elizabeth Coffey scored one more goal to seal the deal.

The championship title was well deserved by the '94 MVU girls. They displayed phenomenal teamwork and skill throughout the tournament. They were able to withstand a few bad calls, and went home with the first place trophy.

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