By Patrick Houston
The Irvine G95 White Team, coached by Russ Martin has a lot of reasons to celebrate. Most recently they competed against 32 other teams in the Cal South State Cup Tournament. They advanced as one of the final four teams with the possibility to play in the final round for the State Cup.
In the first five matches they scored 14 points and allowed 0 goals. On Sunday afternoon, after winning a close match in the morning 1-0, they took the pitch for their 6th match of the tournament where they faced Santa Clarita United (SCU). Irvine saw their scoreless streak come to an end when SCU scored on a broken coverage corner kick late in the first half. In the second half Irvine came out swinging. They were mostly on the attack. They worked the ball down the field several times and took over 10 shots on goal. A few of their shots just missed tying the score. As the end of the match was approaching, Irvine played with a since of urgency. In their haste to keep their State cup hopes alive they left an SCU shooter open on a corner kick and she capitalized on the mistake by putting the ball in the back of the net which gave SCU a comfortable two goal lead. Irvine worked until the referee blew his whistle signifying the end of the match and the end of the road to the State Cup for Irvine
“The first thing I want you to know is, I am very proud of all you,” Coach Russ Martin said while talking to his tired, red-faced team after the final match. “You had a very good tournament. You did not allow a goal in the first 5 games. Not to many teams can make that claim. Some of you are hurt and you gave it everything you had and left it all on the field. That is all a coach can ask of his team.”
He continued: “You played a very good team, and they were better today. I don’t think they are a better team, but they were just better today.”
Martin concluded his post game comments by reminding the players that they are a very good Silver level team. He rewarded their efforts by giving them the day off on Tuesday, which is time that most of them need to heal their injuries.
A strong finish in State Cup is not the only reason that G95 Irvine is celebrating. During their run for the State Cup they are also in the thick of the competitive Coast Soccer Spring Soccer League. They are currently in third place. During the Spring League, they have competed against and defeated some very strong silver teams. This is a very positive sign since they will be playing at the sliver level next Fall. They have one more match in the spring season, and then they will compete for the Spring Cup where they will be tested again.
The team also will start its summer tournament series soon. They should be feeling pretty good. According to Got Soccer http://www.gotsport.com/rankings/team.aspx?teamid=247249 which is a web site that rates teams tournament results, has Irvine G95 White rated 60th in Southern California. The teams first place finish in the Irvine Spring tournament help contribute to their ranking.