From Head Coach Bobby Salazar:
Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens U10 Girls won the Miami Dade Spring League Championship with a convincing win over the favorite Pinecrest U10 Girls 3-1 May 10th at Three Lakes Park in Kendall.
The MSVG girls ended the season in second place behind Pinecrest and were seeded second going into the playoffs. In the single elimination format MSVG took on Key Biscayne U10 Girls (who had defeated MSVG 5-1 during regular season play) in the semi-final. That match ended 0-0 at the end of regulation and went into a PK shootout. Goalkeeper Sofia Garcia blocked 3 Key Biscayne PKs and Alexa Garcia hit the game winner sending MSVG to the finals against the favorite Pinecrest. MSVG had faced Pinecrest four times previously this year and had not been victorious in any of the four matches.
In the final, the MSVG girls showed they were ready to claim their first championship. Within the first five minutes of play Alexa Garcia scored on beautiful shot in the upper 90 from outside the 18. A few minutes later Hanah Gonzalez scored MSVG`s second goal on another strong strike just inside the 18. MSVG dominated the rest of the half with two more near goals. Pinecrest scored to make it 2-1 going into the second half. MSVG girls came out strong in second half dominating play with strong defense by Brooke Thompson and Alexa Garcia, excellent goalkeeping by Sofia Garcia and quick striking offense led by Melanie James, Isabella Perez and Hanah Gonzalez. Mid point in the second half Alexa Garcia scored again on a corner kick making it 3-1 sealing the final result.
As I watched this game unfold, I couldn`t help but feel a great sense of admiration for this group of girls. They had come so far. Last year as U9s they did not win one single game all year. When I took over as coach back in August I promised the players and parents things would be different. However, they needed to be willing to commit and work harder than they had to that point. These girls are a testament of what teamwork, hard work, and commitment can produce. I`ve coached several very successful and talented teams over the years, but I`ve never coached a group of girls with bigger hearts than these girls.
MSVG U10 girls have been progressing towards this championship all year. They placed third in the fall league. They came in second at Kelme Cup in Naples back in January. Their overall record in all competitions this year is 14-8-6. Now they will be preparing to compete in the Memorial Day Shootout at Disney World (May 24-26).
Left to Right
First row: Kayla Perez, Alexa Garcia, Sofia Garcia, Hanah Gonzalez, Melanie James
Second row: Brooke Thompson, Alyssa Travieso, Isabella Perez, Isabella Saavedra, Melanie Suzal, Deanna Prieto, Natalia Suarez
Third row: Carlos Prieto (Asst. Coach), Darian Salazar (GK Coach), Sunji Salazar (Team Mgr.) and Bobby Salazar (Head Coach).
– Bobby Salazar