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March 15, 2011 > Top 5 finish for MVU

Top 5 finish for MVU

Submitted By June Heaton

Fremont's Mission Valley United 93 girls black soccer team played in the 2011 Northern California Spring Showcase, hosted by the Juventus Sport Club, in Redwood City March 4 to 6, taking a top-five finish.

The tournament's program stated "the caliber of this year's teams is extremely impressive," with 237 teams (boys and girls) from the western United States and Canada. MVU would draw the San Juan Spirits for their first match on Saturday. MVU had just played San Juan in the Las Vegas Mayor's Cup a month ago and won by a shootout in penalty kicks so they knew they had a battle on their hands. Shots from Melissa Heaton, Katie Lovejoy, Megan Ravenscroft and Melissa Urena would not give MVU a score and Spirits' goalie wasn't helping. MVU's defenders Kelsey McLaurin, Amanda Santillan and Leslie Waing would hold Spirits to a scoreless draw.

Next draw was against Elk Grove Everton FC. Again, both teams would battle it out with MVU midfielders Megan Massone, Lesly Correa and Emily Antoku feeding the ball to forwards Athena Mogel, Heaton and Ravenscroft. Defense was not to be reckoned with on both sides. MVU's Kelly Castongia, Mia Moya, Sara Hardin and goalie Jessica Espinosa stopped all attempts for an Elk Grove score leaving the match a nil-nil final.

Match three would be with versus Santa Clara Sporting 93. Ranking ninth in Northern California to MVU's 15, Sporting would be the toughest opponent of the weekend. MVU's coaches Joe Peixoto, Tony Espinosa and Kyle Brown instructed the girls to play their own game. Sporting seized an opportunity early and scored, but their offside would negate the goal. The crowd was on the edge of their seats as they watched a stellar performance by MVU defenders Hardin, Castongia, Santillan and Espinosa hold Sporting to yet another 0-0 finish.

Sunday afternoon's last round of the tournament was against De Anza Force 93G Blue. MVU's defense was in high gear after their Sporting shutout with Espinosa again making several saves. Midfielders Antuko, Lovejoy, Urena, Correa and Massone hustled to get the ball to forwards Lauren Duque, Heaton and Ravenscroft. Force retaliated and fouled Heaton in the box where she was awarded a penalty kick. Heaton would make the shot to put MVU in the lead, 1-0. Force was hard pressed to get back into the game but MVU's defense was on fire and hindered any attempt for a comeback. In the final five minutes, MVU's Ravenscroft dribbled the ball up the side and just outside Force's box, laid the ball off for Heaton to come in and finish the shot for a 2-0 win and give MVU a top-five finish in the tournament.

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