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The Girls U12 Extra Team On a Roll
In January, the Girls U12 Extra Team won the Corona Pony Express tournament. The girls sailed through pool play and met their Area rival, Culver City, in the final. The team wanted to avenge an earlier loss to Culver City in League play (Santa Monica’s only loss). Both teams knew they would likely face each other in the Area playoffs so the game would give one team a lift going into those playoffs. Santa Monica broke open the game early and led 3-0 at the half. Culver City responded with a string of goals in the second half, but the girls held them off and won 5-2.
In February, the Girls U12 Extra Team represented Santa Monica and went undefeated in the Area 1-P playoffs, beating three Area rivals to advance as the number 1 seed to the Sectional playoffs in Riverside in March. In the championship game, Culver City was poised for a rematch. Despite giving up an early goal, the Santa Monica girls never gave up and quickly tied it up, took the lead and never looked back. At the final whistle, it was Santa Monica 4, Culver City 1. That early goal was the only one allowed by the girls, who combined for 13 goals during the tournament.
Later in February, the girls went to Riverside for the Locomotion tournament. The girls sailed through to the semi-finals, where they faced an Area rival, South L.A. (the team that would go on to win the All Star Sections). South L.A. scored first, but Santa Monica never lost hope and battled back to even the score. In the second half, Santa Monica took advantage of a tired South L.A. team and put in 2 more goals and secured the victory. In the final game, the girls faced another Area rival, West L.A., a team seeking to avenge their semi-final loss to Santa Monica in the Area playoffs. The game was hard fought and ended 0-0 in regulation play. In overtime, an exhausted Santa Monica broke the tie and held on to bring home the victory.
Two weeks later, the girls returned to Riverside for the Section Playoffs. They faced Corona in the semi-finals, winning handily 4-0. They then faced a determined Redlands team, but the girls started off with a quick goal in the opening minute and never looked back, winning 3-1. With that victory, the girls advance to the State Games in Davis next week. A trip to the State Games has been the goal of the team for the entire year. For six of the girls, it will be a return trip; for the other six, it will a first time experience to represent Santa Monica at the state level.
Team (as pictured) : Front row: Sophie, Mia, Giulia, Abbie, Bella, Alexis, Back row: Coach Gary Berry, McKenna, Maya, Jordan, Coach Adam Jensen, Scottie, Britney and Juliet.