On Saturday, three San Francisco schools with a multitude of SFEA players participated in CIF's first Northern California championships for boys and girls soccer. St. Ignatius College Preparatory sought a boys Division I title; University High School chased a boys Division III title; and Lowell High School took the field seeking a girls Division IV title. While University came up just short, losing on a golden goal, both St. Ignatius boys and Lowell High School girls won their championship games on golden goals. In both SI's and Lowell's case, the golden goal was scored by an SFEA player–Alex Bailey netted for SI and Sarah Ginsburg for Lowell.
Each of the teams' rosters were littered with San Francisco Elite Academy players, who used their break from club play in the winter to lead their respective high school teams. St. Ignatius boys soccer features 7 players from SFEA, University High School boys 6 players, and Lowell High School 10 players. The large number of SFEA players in these dominant programs and others making a splash in San Francisco (like Sacred Heart that claimed a CCS section crown for both its boys and girls programs this year) is a testament to how the SFEA has helped elevate the level of soccer in the city.
"Our soccer program supports high school soccer," said Joe Dugan, President of the San Francisco Elite Academy. "While we are well aware that college recruiters lean heavily on club play as a measuring stick for a player's potential, high school soccer remains a unique and valued playing environment that affords the player a chance to stay sharp in winter and make memories that last a lifetime. And, critically, we have a number of really terrific high school programs in San Francisco led by very capable and accomplished coaches."
Congratulations to these programs and the many others here in the city that had terrific high school season.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat on the Boys Division I title game.
The Manteca Bulletin on the Girls Division IV title game.
The San Francisco Elite Academy 99-00 Boys NPL team claimed the title of the Premier Division of the 2017 Davis Legacy Premier Cup this past Sunday. The team won the title by defeating San Jose Earthquakes 2000 Boys PDA 2-1 after two first half goals--one from a back post header by center back Chris Miglo and the other from eventual team player of the tournament, Theo Malliaras, on a clever back heel at the near post almost immediately after being introduced late in the first half. After the Quakes got a goal back the game took on an end-to-end style and goalkeeper Armando Malton and his defenders made several key stops to preserve the win and the cup title.
The match capped a successful weekend for team that saw them win against fellow NPL 1 west division rival AFC Academy 2-1 (goals by Nico Petry-Mitchel, PK/unassisted, and Theo Malliaras assisted by Jack Benninger) and defeat Butte United Red 99 by the same 2-1 score (goals by Kol Van Giesen and Alex Bailey, assisted by Chris Miglio and Nicky Brown, respectively).
In the team's only other match of the weekend, on Sunday morning, they were held scoreless and fell 1-0 to the team they wold again face in the final, San jose Earthquakes 2000 Boys PDA, who did not concede a goal in the three games that led them into the final. The Sunday morning match was a hard-fought one that featured multiple chances for both teams as well as long breaks in play from free kicks and referees cautioning or speaking with players. By the end of the stop-and-start match, both coaches were already becoming aware that the morning game would be but a precursor to the afternoon final based on the tournament format and standings.
"We learned a little about ourselves this weekend and got important contributions from everyone," said '99/'00 boys head coach Chris Flanagan. "Our goal was to play in the final and get everyone involved in the games, which is a luxury that we don't always have in NPL 1 league play. I was delighted for Theo, who came off the bench to get two game winning goals, as well as for a number of other guys who played extra minutes or in positions they were less accustomed to. By the end of the weekend we were short on numbers for a variety of reasons but the team dug in and got the victory against a good CV Quakes team that hadn't conceded a goal in the tournament and had to feel confident after beating us in the morning. Before the final I told the guys you don't often get second chances in soccer or life, so go out there and take advantage of every moment."
This past Sunday, in Sacramento at Columnes Junior College and in a near-100 degree heat, the 1998 San Francisco Elite Academy Boys claimed our program's first state championship by winning the U19 NorCal State Cup gold title against Diablo FC.
The 1998 Boys started the match slow, eventually allowing a Diablo FC goal that led to a 0-1 deficit within 15 minutes. Shortly thereafter, the 1998 Boys gained their rhythm and began to dominate the remainder of the first half. And, importantly, the SFEA boys were able to equalize in the 28th minute on a goal by Toshi Hensley.
After the halftime break and a few tactical adjustments from SFEA coach Tom Atencio, the 1998 Boys dominated both possession and shots, yet after 45 more minutes of play had no goals to show for it. The subsequent two, five-minute overtime periods saw both teams creating opportunities but still no goal to end the game.
The game would be decided with penalty kicks with SFEA shooting first. SFEA's Joey Galvez, Hermino Umanzor, and Greyson Gebhard Young all scored their kicks, respectively. And while Diablo FC had answered with two successful penalties of their own, on their third kick SFEA 1998 Boys goalkeeper Parker Whitcomb saved. After SFEA's Shayan Charlaghi scored to make the penalty kicks 4-2, in favor or SFEA, Parker came up big again, making yet another save and insuring the victory for the 1998 boys team.
The entire SF Elite Academy would like to congratulate the 1998 Boys and head coach Tom Atencio on this tremendous accomplishment!
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.