Hats off to the Los Gatos United girls soccer team, which recently won the NorCal State Cup! The team is sponsored by Digital Media Academy and coached by DMA President and founder, Phil Gibson.
Bottom row, from left: Maddie Vorreiter, Aurea Martin, Becca Armstrong, Eden Gibson, Isabella Taylor, Siena Lee. Top row, from left: Faith Tamasi, Christine Bowser, Arielle Lazovsky, Nicole Sweeney, Ellie Pickard, Kayla Nanez, Ally Echauri, Coach: Phil Gibson. Not pictured: Loie Bonnet.
The NorCal Cup is the largest U.S. Club Soccer-sanctioned state cup in the entire U.S., featuring more than 1,800 teams in all age groups. Los Gatos United played in the Premier Division of the U14 age group, taking first place.
“I am very proud of the girls,” reports Coach Gibson, who has been leading the team for four years. Most of the players have been on the team since its second year, so Los Gatos United is truly a unified force when it takes the field.
“They defeated the fifth-ranked team in the state during the final game. It was exciting, for sure!” he says.
The championship match delivered building tension that resulted in an explosive finish. Despite scoring opportunities, both teams were held scoreless well into the second half.
Then, with only 20 minutes remaining, LGU’s Arielle Lazovsky received the ball 20 yards out with her back to the opponent’s goal and flicked it over her shoulder to an on-running Nicole Sweeney, who slotted it in the side net.
United scored again 10 minutes later on a beautiful goal by Aurea Martin that was the culmination of a well-executed passing sequence involving half the team.
Finally, with only a minute remaining, Nicole Sweeney struck again to ice the victory.
In It to Win It
The team survived grueling elimination rounds. More than 150 teams in the U14 age group were in the hunt for this year’s state cup.
Last year, the Los Gatos United team won the Silver Division, the tournament’s fifth-highest division. But in 2015, LGU captured the Premier Division, the second-highest in the competition. Coach Gibson says the team’s tournament leap marks a “huge improvement.”
Combining Soccer and Tech
The team is sponsored by Digital Media Academy, which was founded by Phil Gibson. Soccer’s been a big part of Gibson’s life since he played collegiate soccer at Santa Clara University.
SCU is now the site of DMA’s soccer and photography camps for girls, which give young women a chance to sharpen their soccer skills during the morning, while working on cool photography and graphic design projects during the afternoon.
DMA hasn’t forgotten about the guys, either. It also offers a cool soccer and game design camp for boys ages 8 through 12 at Santa Clara University. It’s the ultimate summer camp experience for any guy who wants to take his game to the next level.
Congrats again to Los Gatos United! Cheering you on is always a “kick”!