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Hollister Youth Soccer successful in local tournaments, league

Hollister youth soccer teams had success in the District Cup along with local leagues. They will seek to continue that success in the fall season.
Photo provided by Refugio Sanchez.
Photo from Strikers' Facebook page with permission from Greg Dolan.

Hollister Tremors is a youth soccer organization that offers different levels of playing. The recreation division introduces players to the basics of soccer. The traveling teams are for more advanced players and usually compete in different tournaments around the area.

The following teams placed in the District Cup, an important tournament in the area.

U9 Girls:

The Hollister Tremors U9 girls soccer team went undefeated in its championship run in the 2018 District II Cup on June 3. The girls outscored their opponents by a combined 11 goals in the tournament. The team took a different approach on the season by only competing in tournaments and not league play. They took second place in the 2018 Santa Cruz Breakers Academy Spring Cup in March and in the 2018 Mountain View Los Altos Bay Area Spring Cup.

Head Coach Jacob Cousins said their success is a result of the conditioning the girls receive throughout the year and credits the Hollister School District because most of his players also are members or different school teams. He said it plays a key role in tournament settings because they have to play four games in two days and as the playing time increases, the stamina decreases and it comes down to which team is putting in the extra hours at practice.

“Paid clubs compliment us on how aggressive our girls are,” Cousins said.

He said the girls are born with that instinct and he just helps fuel it on the field.

The team began the season by losing all three games in the 2018 COPITA SURF. They scored only two goals and received 18. Cousins said they faced all teams that competed in the premier league, the highest ranking of all the divisions.

“I’m extremely proud of [the team] and the parents for having them committed,” Cousins said, referring to all the time parents spend driving the players to practice and to games along with paying the fees to enter into the tournaments. He also thanked the volunteer coaches for all the hours they put into the team.

Cousins said the team is always looking for talented, aggressive players to join the team for the new season that begins in early August.

U13 boys:

The Tigers won the 2018 District II Spring Cup in a tightly contested match against familiar foe Alviso Bay Area FC on Sunday, June 10. The match’s lone goal came off a penalty kick. Tremors Coach Refugio Sanchez said the team was familiar with their opponent as they had lost to them in the 2018 District II Fall Cup championship game with the same score.

“Both teams had opportunities to score,” Sanchez said. “Our keeper saved us twice, but we had the same opportunities, maybe one or two more.”

All four matches were decided by a single goal. The Tremors began the tournament on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Sunnyvale Alliance. Their second match seemed like it would be an easier victory as they jumped to a 3-0 lead. However, Belmont United fought back to make the match more intense in the eventual 5-4 Tremors win. The Hollister team was back in action on Sunday to close out the bracket B group stage with a 3-2 win over Ajax East Bay.

The Tigers continued their success after the District Cup by winning the league championship with a 8-1 win in their last game of the season.

Sanchez said all his players are a key to the team’s success, including the players that come off the bench.

“I see them all kind of even,” Sanchez said.

The team’s goal is to rise to the premier league for the 2018 fall season which is scheduled to begin late August or Early September.

U17 Boys:

The Strikers team got second place in the U19 division of the 2018 District II Spring Cup as they were defeated by Manchester United from East Palo Alto 6-1. The Strikers cruised through the first day of competition with two wins, scoring eight goals and not allowing one in. The next day they opened with a 1-0 win before losing in the championship game.

Head Coach Greg Dolan said they were beaten well, but they had to wait six hours in the sun between the first game and the championship match. The Strikers were in a 3-0 hole within the first 15 minutes of the game that they were not able to overcome, Dolan said.

“We didn’t know what hit us, we were still waking up,” Dolan said. “By the time we woke up it was too late.”

The Strikers won their second spring league in the gold division and finished with 16 points and only one loss. The season ended on June 3. Dolan said the team will seek its third fall crown starting on August.

Dolan said he has been developing the players for the last four years and all that work has translated into the high school team.

Dolan said 80 percent of the team is also part of the San Benito High School soccer team, which reached Central Coast Section Playoffs semifinals last season and the quarterfinals the year before.  

The Strikers also raised money through landscape work in order to compete in a tournament in Ireland. Dolan said they played six games.

“I picked them up on my truck after high school and all the jobs were being posted on Facebook,” Dolan said. “People were just hiring us to pull weeds, cut grass, whatever.”

“They're a very competitive team,” Dolan said.  “A few of them hopefully will be getting some scholarships after next year. That’s our goal now.”

 

 

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About:
Noe Magaña (Noe Magaña)

Noe Magaña is a freelance writer for BenitoLink. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School graduate with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.

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