Placer United U-12s capture title in own tourney

Solid results for Placer teams against impressive field
By: Kurt Johnson, Press-Tribune sports editor
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The Placer United Prestige 97 Black, a girls’ under-12 competitive soccer team, took first place in the silver division of the 120-team Placer United Prestige Girls Cup played Saturday and Sunday at fields in and around Roseville. The win is an impressive feat for the club in one of the top tournaments in Northern California, featuring 120 of the top teams in the girls’ under-11 to under-18 age groups from Northern California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Idaho. The 97 Black team opened the tourney with an early Saturday morning 3-2 win over the GBYSL CV Falcons of Nevada, and then went on to beat the Almaden Valley YSL Fusion 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. Jessica Sawchuk, Callye Lahmann and Brooke Hershberger did the scoring for the squad in its Saturday contests. On Sunday, the girls faced off against the Davis Youth Soccer Academy Legacy 97 in one of the most physical battles of the tournament. Both teams played aggressive soccer in what was largely a scoreless affair until an assist from Jordan Holt led to a Callye Lahmann goal to give Placer a 1-0 advantage. Placer goalie Carli Kelly was outstanding in goal, keeping the shutout intact, as Placer earned a trip to Rio Linda’s Cherry Island soccer complex for the Sunday afternoon title game against Lamorinda United 96. The championship game was an exciting duel as both teams battled and scrapped their way to a 1-1 tie through regulation time. Placer's defense was determined under constant pressure, but allowed just the one goal. Lauren Bonham, Tatum Thompson, Natalie Rhodes, Brooke Hershberger, Claudia Black, Callye Lahmann and goalie Carlie Kelly held the relentless Lamorinda in check. Placer topped Lamorinda 4-2 advantage in a penalty kick shootout to grab the title as the sun was setting. While the under-12 squad was the only Placer United team to win its bracket, other local teams turned in solid performances over the weekend. The under-14 Placer United Prestige 95 Gold team allowed just two goals over the weekend, compiling a 1-1-1 record in group play before dropping a tough 1-0 match to a very strong Marin team in the consolation championship game of the under-14 super division. The Placer team was very dangerous on set pieces, with Samantha Myers providing great scoring opportunities with her strong corner kicks. Kaleigh Landberg scored a very nice goal in a1-0 win over Lake Oswego, and Madalynn Schiffel made a fingertip save in the closing seconds to preserve that win. Dorien Jonk and Emily Chalfant had outstanding performances throughout the tournament as the squad battled through a tough, physical bracket. The Placer United under-15 Prestige 94 Gold team captured the consolation championship (third place) in the super division of the under-15 age group competition. “Consolation games are sometimes difficult to get motivated for, when the team goal going in was to win the ‘championship’,” said coach Gene DuChateau. After losing a lead in the final three minutes of a heartbreaking loss in its first game against Almaden, Placer battled back to face Diablo Valley Soccer Club in the consolation title match. The two teams met earlier in June, in a match that ended in a 1-1 tie, and the rematch was not a typical low-key consolation game. About 15 minutes into the game Marissa Griffin received a pass and beat a defender before laying off a great ball to Aliska Berry for the first goal. After Placer just missed another opportunity the half ended at 1-0. Within the first five minutes of the second half, Placer gave away a scoring chance and saw DVSC tie the game and take over the momentum. Placer seized control back on a corner kick, with a nice ball from Kayla Karlsson finding Kelsey DeCarlo at the back post for the go-ahead tally. The Placer squad took over from there, with Erin Pellerin scoring a third goal, assisted by Jackie Reynolds and Jessica Santos and then finding the net again as Aliska Berry picked up her second of the game on an awesome flip throw by Chelsea Obrochta that was flicked on by Jessica Santos to Aliska for the goal. The under-15 Girls captured third place with a 3-1 record with nine goals scored and only allowing three scores against. The under-16 Placer United 93 Gold team also took third place in its division, tying Davis 0-0 in its opener before riding three Kayla Powers goals to a 3-0 win over the Orchard Valley Sting. A 2-1 loss to Black Diamond from Utah was an unlucky loss for the squad, which dominated play as it out shot the team from Utah 14-2 but could not find the area between the pipes. The consolation final for third place came down to a shootout against Diablo FC, which was won on a nice save by Melanie Bertrand. The Placer United under-15 Prestige Black finished fourth in the under-15 gold division. On Saturday, the squad opened the tourney with a 2-0 win over the Mustang Fury from Danville. Megan Fox delivered the ball to two different scorers for Placer, first sending a ball to Mikaela Arnstein, who bent a great shot into the upper corner from the edge of the penalty area. The second assist came on a strong cross that was finished at the back post by Kayla Storrs. In Saturday’s second game, the Prestige Black dominated the ball for the first 20 minutes, but were unable to find the back of the net. Bay Oaks of Alameda took advantage of players left unmarked for two goals, and the one late goal by Jesse Rozario was not enough to bring Placer even. A Sunday morning 2-1 win over Davis United gave Placer the chance to play in the consolation title game. A counterattack goal gave Davis the lead early, but this time Placer capitalized on its control of the possession game. Arstein scored the equalizer off of a Rozario corner kick, and then Megan Fox headed home the game winner. Outstanding defensive play by Alex Fidler, Jaime Giddings, Kimmy Worland, Morgan Geiger and goalkeeper Katelyn Allen did well to keep Costa Rican under-17 national player Nikki Gonsalves at bay. The consolation championship game against the California Cougars from Stockton was tied 1-1 after regulation before Placer lost 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout. California went ahead, scoring on the rebound after a strong Katelyn Allen save. Placer used its counterattack to draw even when Amberle Dole found Rozario who quickly put Arnstein into the goal area. She finished expertly with her left foot from just inside the box. The physical contest went back and forth but remained tied through the end. Allen turned away the first California penalty kick, but was unable to clear the other four. Jodi Higgins and Jaime Giddings scored the two shootout goals for Placer. Megan Fox, Rozario and Amberle Dole were consistently strong for Placer throughout the tournament, as the loss left the squad with a fourth place finish.