Local AYSO triumphs once more

(L to R bottom): Hanady Shaqur, Sara Welkom, Balzhana Lavine, Heijh Diaz  (L to R middle): Halie Bissell, Lily Purvis, Caroline Mikkelson, Rachel Johnson, Olivia Geyling (L to R top) Head Coach: Hoss Shaqur; Assistant Coach: Michael Purvis

(L to R bottom): Hanady Shaqur, Sara Welkom, Balzhana Lavine, Heijh Diaz
(L to R middle): Halie Bissell, Lily Purvis, Caroline Mikkelson, Rachel Johnson, Olivia Geyling
(L to R top) Head Coach: Hoss Shaqur; Assistant Coach: Michael Purvis

The “Santa Barbarians” U10 Girls AYSO All-Stars team from Santa Barbara was named U10 Girls Champions of the Shamrock Showdown Soccer Tournament in Palmdale, California on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The Santa Barbarians defeated the Tri-Community team 1-0 in the Championship game. This was the second championship won by the Santa Barbarians within the last month. The team was previously named Champions of the Kickoff Classic Soccer Tournament in Downey, California.

The team came into the Championship game against the Tri-Community team as underdogs. The Tri-Community team was much taller and more physically intimidating than any team the Santa Barbarians had ever faced before. However, the Santa Barbarians held off attack after attack early in the game. The play was so intense that there were numerous injuries on both teams. Heading into the last 10 minutes of the game, both teams were still scoreless. Then lightening struck as Hanady Shaqur of the Santa Barbarians wrestled the ball away from multiple defenders and gave a crucial assist to Rachel Johnson. Rachel then punched the ball into the opposing goal to take a 1-0 lead for the Santa Barbarians. The roar from the sidelines was probably heard back in Santa Barbara! The Santa Barbarians then held off a series of frantic attacks by the Tri-Community team as time expired.

Coach Hoss Shaqur commented “The girls gave it their all. They played with so much heart. They emptied the tank and left everything on the field. This is truly a special team. I’m proud of every one of them.”

Team members include Rachel Johnson, Caroline Mikkelson, Sara Welkom, Balzhana Lavine, Heijh Diaz, Halie Bissell, Lily Purvis, Olivia Geyling, and Hanady Shaqur. The team is coached by Hoss Shaqur with Assistant Coach Michael Purvis and Team Manager Rolf Geyling.