The Santa Monica United G98 is a Premier level team led by Nike Excellence Award Recipient Coach Fab Amezaga and assisted by Coach Robert Bahedry. On Sunday, the team posted a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory to win Coast Soccer League's League Cup, making the G98’s the first ever SMU boys or girls team to become Champions of the League Cup
For perspective, the G98’s have been on a roll. In the last 10 completed games the G98’s have tallied 9 wins and 1 loss. In 10 games they have scored 29 goals while conceding only 8 goals against. The team has a gaudy goal differential of 21 goals over the last 10 completed games!
During League Cup, the Semi-Final and the Final games were dramatic contests. The Semi-Final game for League Cup was won in PK’s. To secure the win, SMU goalkeeper Rachel Pike blocked 4 out of 6 PK’s!!!!
Next up was the dramatic Championship match for League Cup. The team faced San Diego United. This opponent had demolished SMU 4-1 in their first meeting earlier in the Premier season. SMU seemed like the underdog. In fact, San Diego scored first and as a result, SMU ended the first half down 0-1. However, the team was undeterred and blasted the game into contention when midfielder Rebecca O’Connor launched a corner kick that midfielder Bella Escobedo battled into the net for the equalizer, thus tying the game at 1-1. Later in the second half, forward Amanda Jaramillo (AJ) used her blazing speed to run onto a brilliantly placed thru ball. AJ settled it and blasted it past the outstretched hands of the hapless goalie for the go-ahead goal for SMU. The sidelines erupted in cheers and high fives as victory was now within sight. The opponent, San Diego United was in visible shock since they had previously dispatched the SMU team 4-1. Minutes later, forward Hadyn Peffer won a 50/50 ball near the midfield and sprinted diagonally down the field where with poise, power and grace she shot and curled the ball around the desperately outstretched hands of the diving goalie to make the score 3-1. Later in the closing moments of the game the opponent scored. The game ended 3-2 with SMU emerging as the Champion of the League Cup. This win follows a 4th place final standing in the CSL's Premier League, the highest placement for an SMU girls team in history of CSL.
This team, which will graduate and age out in the Fall of 2017, made history in so many ways. This is a team that started in U11 many years ago and has worked its way up, one step at a time, year after year.
They truly represented the SMU philosophy season after season. Several of the team's members will play College Soccer next season, with several more about to announce their choices.
The roster of the team includes:
KAT NUCKOLS, COLETTE NOGHREIAN, HADYN PEFFER, EMILY LYON, DEZYIER JONES-MATTHEWS, ALEX SCHIRN, RACHEL PIKE, ZOE CAPANNA AMANDA JAMARILLO, SOPHIA STILLS, LILY DRESNER, DANI MARTINEZ, MIKAYLA LERMAN, EMILY TASH, REBECCA O'CONNOR, TESS REINHARDT, LIADAN SOLOMON, BELLA ESCOBEDO
Well done Coaches and ladies. SMU is very proud of you!!!