Napa United 16-under squad reaches semifinals in Oregon tourney
The Napa Valley Soccer Club’s 16-under United soccer team traveled to Portland, Ore., recently to compete in the premier division of the Lake Oswego Nike Classic.
In its first match on Friday, United handled FC Portland White 4-0 with two goals from Kathryn Johnson, and one each from Rayan Takemoto and Kelsea McIver.
Sammi Schwandt assisted on two of the goals, while Korinne Wallace assisted on another. Keeper Marisa Bergin and the solid Napa defense, led by Joy Hopkins and Nikko Baila, recorded the shutout.
In its second Friday match, United played Seattle’s Highland Premier Academy and won 3-1.
All of the goals came in the second half, scored by Krista Carillo, Bailey Kiser, and Yessenia Nolasco.
Defensively, Maddie Dolan, Camille Castro and Amanda Neidlinger had solid performances.
Saturday’s game pitted United against the defending Oregon State Cup holders and host team, Oswego Southside Soccer Academy. Both teams having already qualified for the semifinal round, the game was played with great enthusiasm and speed.
OSSA scored first on a 35-yard blast by their left back for a 1-0 halftime lead.
United came out energized in the second half and scored an equalizer off a 28-yard shot by Takemoto to the upper left side.
Alina Martinez assisted on the goal.
OSSA was not to be outdone and scored the winning goal on a 40-yard blast from the same left back, which Bergin deflected onto the crossbar only to be headed in the net by a streaking OSSA forward for a 2-1 win.
In its Sunday semifinal, United faced FC Portland Blue, another high-level premier Oregon side. The game was extremely even throughout.
However, Portland hit a great shot in the first half for a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second half saw more even play, with Martinez hitting a left foot shot from the top of the box which thumped off the crossbar, denying United the tying goal.
Portland would add on two late second-half goals for a 3-0 victory and a place in the championship.
In the championship match, OSSA beat FC Portland Blue, 3-0.
United coach Rob Kusel was extremely happy with the team’s first outing of the season.
“This was a great test for the 22 players on this team. To travel with parents and family to Portland and accomplish what they did is a great step forward for this team,” he said. “We played attractively throughout and were commended by both the OSSA Portland coaches for having a great team.”