• Tiger All-Stars win Area Soccer Championship in Thrilling Upset


    The Girls Under-10 All-Star Team won the Area Championship in a dramatic 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Arcadia on Sunday afternoon. The Area All-Stars were selected from amongst the 22 Girls Under-10 fall-season teams playing in the South Pasadena/San Marino AYSO Region.

    They practiced under lights throughout the winter, playing a full season against All-Star teams from neighboring cities, including Alhambra, Temple City, Glendale, Pasadena, and Arcadia. After qualifying for the All-Star Playoffs, postponements due to heavy rain led to a dramatic Sunday showdown between the top four seeds, with two semifinals played in the morning and the championship match slated for the afternoon.

    In their semi-final, the Tigers faced Pasadena, the #2 seed whom they had tied in both previous matchups. With their full-field passing and decisive through balls, the Tigers dominated play, scored early in the first quarter, and held on strong through the remaining three quarters for a 1-0 semi-final victory. This set up a matchup with #1 seed Arcadia, a team that remained unbeaten after 11 matches entering the championship match. The Tigers had fallen to Arcadia in both previous matchups including a 4-0 drubbing near the end of the season, when the Tigers played short and fought to the end against the dominant Warriors.

    Despite this setback, the Tigers entered the final confident that at full strength, they could defeat Arcadia with skillful play and a great performance. The Tigers set out to seize the initiative, and in a repeat of the morning script, dominated early play with attractive passing and dangerous runs into the Arcadia box, thrilling the Tigers’ fans by burying the ball in the Arcadia net early in the first quarter. There the scripts diverged, however, for the Arcadia Warriors would not relinquish their unbeaten record without an epic fight during the remaining three quarters. They launched attacks in waves as the Tigers held strong against the onslaught. Despite appearances, the seconds ticked by, though it became increasingly difficult to catalog the acrobatic saves, athletic recoveries, and anxious moments. It is generally acknowledged that a great deal of accelerated aging occurred on the Tigers’ sideline. When the final whistle blew, the Tigers whooped with pure joy as they streamed into each other’s arms.

    AYSO registration takes place this week.

    Families can go to www.ayso214.org for more information.

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