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November 15, 2011 > FC Milpitas Panthers win Halloween Cup

FC Milpitas Panthers win Halloween Cup

Submitted By Freddie Cacao

On the weekend of October 29 - 30, the FC Milpitas Panthers 99G participated in the SCC Breakers Halloween Cup, an annual tournament for Silver/Gold-level competitive soccer teams, held at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA.

Saturday, the Panthers defeated the Los Gatos Pride 1 - 0, a past rival now playing in a different regional league. Similar to previous match-ups, this game was very close with each team displaying great defense. However, the Panthers were able to score in the second half of the game on a nice header into the goal, set up by a well-placed corner kick.

Later that afternoon, the girls defeated an up-and-coming OV Stingrays team 2 - 0. The Panthers dominated play with nice ball control and accurate passing, minimizing their opponent's shot-on-goal attempts and maximizing their own time of possession. This led to easy goals for the Panthers while pitching a shutout of the Stingrays.

On Sunday, the team played their third game of the tournament against another old rival, MVLA Monsoon White. The Panthers started out fast with three quick goals in the first half: a breakaway set up by a nice pass-thru, a hard shot from just inside the 18-yard box and a great serve into the penalty box for an easy put-in. MVLA was held scoreless in both halves for a 3 - 0 win.

With a perfect record and no goals scored against them, the championship game opponent was a very tough Dublin Magic team who also had a perfect record in their respective bracket. The Magic pressured the Panthers right out-the-gate with their aggressive offensive attacks, generating numerous corner kicks and shots-on-goal and dominating time of possession. Repeatedly, the Panthers thwarted the Magic's relentless attacks with outstanding defensive and goalkeeper play for a scoreless first half. The opponent's pressure continued at the start of the second half and after five minutes of play, the Magic took the lead by scoring on a breakaway down the middle of the field.

With their backs against the wall, the Panthers started their comeback with improved ball control and timely passing, generating more goal opportunities. The girls' persistence eventually led to the "equalizer," a fantastic header from the backside set up with a beautiful looping serve from the left side over the Magic's defenders. The Panthers quickly sensed a win, continuing their exceptional play and, with less than two minutes left in the game, forced in the "winner."

After a Panther forward's hard shot to the Magic goalie forced a momentary loss of control, a linemate quickly sent the ball away from the goalie's outstretched arms to a supporting mid-fielder's charge that finished the job with an emphatic close-range shot into the goal. After the final whistle was blown, the girls raised their hands in triumph and rushed to each other to celebrate.

It was a great, hard-fought victory by the Panthers. Congratulations!

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