Barcelona U19 Wins Third Place – Walnut Creek Tournament 2016


DUSL Barcelona Soccer Team

After they won, the entire team ran to a big group hug, which ended up with everyone laughing on the ground.


Last weekend, Dublin United Soccer League’s team Barcelona, composed of all Dublin High School students, won third place in the U19 tournament in Walnut Creek.

On Saturday morning, Barcelona began the first of their four games that weekend, competing against the Walnut Creek team, to whom they lost 0 to 1. Though the defeat was unexpected, it in no way caused the girls’ confidence to waver.

Later in the afternoon, they played Dublin’s other team, the Panthers. After a tiring game in the blazing afternoon heat, Barcelona won, 3 to 1.


The next morning, the team met at the field early to squeeze in an hour of practice before they played their rivals– the Pleasanton Rage Lady Rebels. Past experiences playing the Lady Rebels worried the Barcelona team, and they warmed up, preparing themselves to give the best effort they could during the game.


After one and a half long hours of running, sweating, and working hard to stay in possession of the ball, the game against the Lady Rebels finally ended, leaving two players with head injuries, but neither team with any goals. It was decided that the last game of the day, played later that afternoon, would be the Lady Rebels against Barcelona again, and this time, one team would claim victory.


Even though they weren’t yet sure of the final game’s outcome, the girls were confident in their team’s ability


Bryn Crisfield, a sophomore at Dublin High School who plays for the Barcelona team, explained, “My team is like a second family to me. Most of them I’ve been playing with since I started soccer, about six years ago. We get along so well, on and off the field.”


Sasha Padilla, another sophomore who has been playing soccer for most of her life, added, “Our team is a family. There’s no other way to describe it… We are all very close friends and we love and care for each other. We all laugh together, cry together, and have some of the best memories that will forever be in our hearts, like the tournament was. Most soccer players simply say, ‘I love my team,’ but we say ‘I love my family.’”


An hour before their final game, all the team members met at the field to warm up and prepare for what was to come next.


The game finally began, and Barcelona was off to a good start. The team had possession of the the ball and ran closer to the goal, only to be blocked by the other team. Again and again the cycle repeated, forcing both teams to run back and forth across the field. This went on for about an hour and a half. Few of the Barcelona girls had a chance to rest, despite the hot weather. Short breaks and a rushed halftime gave the girls a chance to get cool drinks of water, but even then, all they could think about was the game. Frustration seemed to surround the field, but it failed to cause Barcelona to work any less harder than before.


When the game ended an hour and a half later, no one had scored once again. After a short break, the two teams faced each other in a ten minute overtime game, in which no one scored. Since the teams were so equally matched, the winner was decided through penalty kicks.


Penalty kicks involve goalies from both teams to take turns standing in front of the goal net while someone from the opposing team attempts to kick the ball into the net. During penalty kicks, it all comes down to how prepared the goalies are, and how strong the team members’ kicks are.


Focused and determined, Alexis Cardenas, a junior at Dublin High who is Barcelona’s goalie, blocked each penalty kick thrown her way. Her team members and coach cheered her on and were amazed at how well she was able to defend the goal. With her in front of the goal, the opposing team was not able to kick the ball into the net a single time.


Barcelona made it into the goal twice out of three chances when the Lady Rebels’ goalie was defending the net. After the Lady Rebels’ third attempt to kick the ball into the net, Alexis herself was prompted to try to kick into the net with the Lady Rebels’ goalie defending. With full focus, she kicked the ball into the net, and Barcelona won the match.


The girls’ success on Sunday did not come without the hard work and training they put into it. We talked to Alexis, the star player of Sunday, and she told us about how hard she worked.


“Not only the days we had practice, but on our off days I went with my best friend to Fallon sports park to practice being goalkeeper and my shots. I would say I worked hard for the past two months to win this tournament. It really does pay off,” she explained.


Sasha described Sunday’s events as she recalled them: “When the game eventually came down to penalties there was so much pressure on each and every player. We held hands as the penalties were shot, we jumped up in excitement when our goalie blocked shots, and finally when we heard the swoosh of the net after the fourth shot we all ran in victory toward our goalie and all fell down to the ground in a dog pile. It was such an amazing feeling to have worked so hard for something and finally achieved it.”


Alexis told us about the victory in her own perspective: “I scored the game’s winning goal. The whole team was so excited to win third place. I had my back turned to the team, walking away after I scored, and next thing you know, they piled on top of me. Now that’s what a great team is like,” she exclaimed, beaming.


“After winning, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t get to play in the last game due to a head injury from another game, so watching my team go into overtime and penalty kicks, not being able to help, was so hard. But after we won we all ran onto the field screaming and crying and thanking our incredible goalie. It was for sure a game to remember,” said Bryn.


Adding on, Shelby Silva, grade 10, agreed: “I felt so ecstatic and proud when we finally won Sunday. We felt so good and we hugged each other.  We got medals and it was amazing experience.”


Overall, most of the team members’ favorite part of the weekend was being out on the field, despite the heat and exhaustion.


Sasha explained, “My favorite part of team tournaments is just kicking the ball on the field and having a good time. It’s always fun to just step away from the stresses of school and play soccer.” She continued, “My other favorite part of the tournament is the tradition of our team where we go out and eat lunch and go shopping in between games; it just really unites and brings our team closer together which is amazing.”


Sunday was another proud day for students at Dublin High School and the entire community, thanks to all the dedication and effort put in by the U19 Barcelona girls.

After they won, the entire team ran to a big group hug, which ended up with everyone laughing on the ground.