Though young, the North Bay FC Wave has made the Pacific Conference playoffs each of its first two years in the WPSL. The veteran California Storm is a perennial conference favorite — and three-time WPSL national champion. So, when youth faced experience — pitting the two undefeated Pacific North leaders against one another for the first time in 2012 on Saturday, June 16th at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley — it figured to be a classic. Of the hundreds who came to watch and support game charities Mill Valley Soccer Club, to Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation and Tam High School Boosters, it’s a good bet that no one left disappointed.
The two teams battled one another for 90 minutes — producing sharp passing, excellent shooting, outstanding saves, a favorable post deflection for the Storm, and a beautifully executed corner kick that resulted in the only goal of the match in the Storm’s 1-0 victory over the Wave.
North Bay Wave head coach Luis Quezada felt that the Storm started off a little faster than the Wave, controlling the run of play for the first 15 to 20 minutes. It was during this time that an innocent-looking corner kick led to the game’s lone tally. The kick was played hard on the turf — skittering toward the near post — where with a flick of the boot, a California Storm player tucked the ball into the net.
At about the 20-minute mark, Wave left back Jocelyn Leche — a former USC star — made a length-of-the-field run and got off a dangerous shot that went just wide of its mark. This seemed to wake up the Wave, and the young North Bay players settled in against the Storm and played inspired soccer the rest of the way.
In the second half, the Wave put together a number of combinations that almost led to the equalizer. Leche, Nina Watkins, Jordan Carlberg, and others missed high, just wide, and had one that deflected off a Storm defender — but nothing went in. The Storm countered well, but couldn’t put anything else by Wave goalkeeper, Kathleen Messinger.
The combined lineups for the Wave and Storm included five members of the reigning NCAA Division 1 champion Stanford women’s soccer team; another five from Pacific 12 rival, Cal; numerous players from local fan-favorites such as San Jose State, Sonoma State and Sacramento State; representatives of Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Columbia; and international stars such as Sissi, the golden boot winner at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
The next home game for the North Bay Wave is right back at Tam High School on Sunday, July 1st at 5:00 p.m. vs. the always tough professional team, Bay Area Breeze. That will be followed by another home date vs. the San Francisco Nighthawks on Friday, July 6th at 5:00 p.m. at Novato High School, and vs. the Central California Heat on Sunday, July 8th at 5:00 p.m. at Redwood High School.
For more information about the North Bay FC Wave, visit the team’s official web site at www.northbayfc.com, or contact team president Birgit Byers at (415) 302-6779, or e-mail email@example.com.
About the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL): The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) is the largest national Women's Soccer League in the world. With more than 70-plus women's soccer teams, the WPSL is the leading amateur soccer league in America. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The WPSL's mission is to provide opportunities to further the women's soccer game for the aspiring professional, international-level players and passionate amateurs. The WPSL season brings affordable and quality family entertainment to the community, displays positive role models for our youth, and offers the essential connection between youth and pro women's soccer in America.