Soccer in Turlock is only growing and another prime example is the next generation of stars making their town known by winning a state title.
The Turlock Tornadoes 07 girls and 08 boys put their squad on the map after each won a Nor-Cal State Cup Championship last Sunday at Woodward Park in Manteca in a seven game tournament that ended well in their favor.
“It all started with having a good dedicated set of parents,” said girls head coach Sergio Gutierrez. “I want to include them and thank them because they dedicated a lot of time for the kids, training three times a week to get them there, big commitment and huge factor of the girls’ development.”
The 07 girls’ squad was a team that transitioned from recreational ball into competitive and from there they just flourished faster than anybody anticipated.
“They developed so quick, it’s a learning process for them,” said Gutierrez. “The feeling was that all the hard work paid off for the parents and themselves. The girls were extremely ecstatic.”
After playing in six grueling games, Sunday's finale was the opportunity to make it all worthwhile and sweeter by capturing the win. The Tornadoes of Turlock met the 49er United out of Auburn, and both sides came out ready to play.
The girls’ team that consists of Azaria Valdez, Lily Ulloa, Samantha Stapler, Eliza Roque, Raegan Homen, Jocelyn Gutierrez, Savannah Gonzalez, Anna Diaz, Isis Cosio, Megan Coelho, Jordan Beers and Kloey Alcazar, were not going down without a battle.
The game was 0-0 into overtime and both sides went into second overtime scoreless when finally with two minutes remaining, Turlock notched a score only to give up one of their own just a minute later to go into penalty kicks at 1-1.
Turlock scored their two penalty kicks and goalkeeper Samantha Stapler came down with two crucial blocks of her own to earn the victory.
“Also the fact that the boys team won with coach Juan Mata is great and I have to thank our assistant Hugo Valadez,” said Gutierrez. “Hard work paid off.”