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January 11, 2011 > Swim Gladiators Finish off Season with 2nd Place in State Tournament

Swim Gladiators Finish off Season with 2nd Place in State Tournament

Submitted by Sean Hernandez
Photo by Teena Rayburn

On a journey that was planned since last year and began 20 weeks ago, the Fremont Gladiators finished off their 2010 fall season with a strong showing in The Founder's Cup, taking second in the tournament.

California Youth Soccer Association's Founders Cup is a state tournament for Division IV teams. The Gladiators completed their first round of play on Dec. 11 and 12 by winning their bracket. During bracket play, they defeated a team from Tracy 6-0 and the top team from Mt. Hamilton 2-0.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, they played the Clovis Wild Ones, a team that had given up only two goals in the previous two seasons, without a loss or a tie. Clovis had the upper hand in the first half with Fremont playing even in the second half. At the end of the game it was 0-0, with both coaches having a strong feeling that the teams would meet again. Based on one more goal for, the Gladiators were the bracket's top seed and Clovis would move on as the bracket's second seed, but in the other conference.

The following Saturday, Dec. 18, Fremont would play the best that Castro Valley had to offer and win in the process, 4-0. Up next, in the semifinals, later that same day, was Oakland's top team, the Puma Girls. The Gladiators jumped to a 2-0 lead and with thoughts of a title game, they lost focus. In a 5 minute span the game was 2-2. Realizing what was about to slip away, Fremont turned up the intensity and scored two more goals to earn a trip to the finals with a 4-2 victory.

Clovis, fresh off of victories of 5-0 over one of Tracy's best and 7-0 over Petaluma's number one team would be the opponent in Sunday's (Dec. 19) championship game. This time there would be no ties.

Once again the Gladiators would be playing on a rain soaked field. The rain continued to fall. Despite having the ball on the Clovis half of the field for a majority of the time, the Gladiators were not able to score. With the score knotted at 0-0, again after regulation, the teams played two 10-minute sudden death periods. Fremont had the best opportunity to end the game in overtime with a solid shot that ricocheted off the crossbar. Despite having scored a combined 20 goals in their quarter and semifinal matches, neither team was able to score in the additional 20 minutes.

Now this journey that started 20 weeks ago for the Gladiators would come down to penalty kicks. After making seven of eight PKs two weeks earlier to win the December Classic Tournament, they would not be able to repeat the accuracy in the title match. Clovis would walk away with the U-12 Girls State Title and Fremont Gladiators would end their journey knocking on the title door, with a hard fought second-place finish.

Congratulations to the Wild Ones. The Gladiators can take a great deal of pride in the accomplishments they had along the way. This journey included a league best 12-0 record; first-place finishes in the Honey Invitational and the December Classic Tournament; second-place finishes in league playoffs and the Director's Cup; every player on the team scored a goal; and accumulated a record of 28-3-1.

Congratulations to FC Fremont and the Gladiators players (Hayley A, Nandini B, Maria C., Jessica F, Ariana H, Kiran H, Rhea K, Saaniya K, Abby M, Arianna N, Pavani R, Alexa R, Jocelyn R, Megann S, Jessica S, Shruti S, Simran S, Kate T, Chelsea T, Alyssa Z) parents and coaches for all their success and a fantastic season.

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