USYS National Championship Girls U16
USYS National Championship Girls U16 avatar

CESA 95 Girls Premier:  The CESA 95 Journey

Submitted by Suzanne Renfro, Co-Manager

July 25, 2012

Nationals?!  Did we expect this?!  How did we get here?!  What is the secret to our success?!

These are some of the prompts suggested for an article intended to give some insight into how our team, CESA 95 Girls Premier, made it to the USYSA National Championship Tournament.

That’s tough!  And, honestly, I’m afraid, not very exciting if one is looking for a sensational tale full of drama and controversy. Nor, is our course reflective of a one dimensional success story, the type where there are a few soccer super stars that are supported and showcased by the rest of the team.

Our team is truly an example of the saying “you reap what you sow”, reflected in each individual member’s accomplishments, as well as our team successes.

This team is composed of 18 strong, committed, and hard working individuals that have, from the very beginning, built a team that represents the conglomerate of each individual’s deeper core being.  If you evaluate the “parts of the whole”, you will see that each and every player has a work ethic and level of commitment that is reflected in all aspects of their lives:  their academics–high GPAs, numerous class and school awards and accolades; their leadership–on the field with their school teams and off the field in student council positions, club leaderships, and community involvement; their faith and service to others; their interests and hobbies outside of soccer, giving each person a well roundedness that helps balance the pressures of high level soccer.  These girls work hard and are successful in ALL areas of their lives.  They each have brought that core sense of “winning’, mixing it with years of rigorous training to create the formula that has nourished them on their path to Nationals.

The team members will be first to point out, however, that they have not made it this far on their own.  Their coach of six years, Andrew Fleming, has both expected and given much.  In addition to training the team for success, he has balanced the demands of time, body wear and tear, emotional stresses, and adolescence to guide these girls to this ultimate goal. Parents and families have clocked in hundreds of hours, miles, and dollars in travel and logistical support.  Teachers and school coaches have been accommodating.  Friends have stood by them despite the many conflicts with their social lives.  Most importantly, they recognize and appreciate the levels of support that have helped sustain them, once again, displaying their maturity.

And so, simply listing game winning statistics and reflecting on exciting, nail-biting endings doesn’t represent the whole journey. One must emphasize the quality individuals making up each part of the team and recognize the support systems that have kept this delightful group of teenage girls on the right course in all areas of their lives.

—–

MVLA Lightning U16: The Fantastic Four

Submitted by Jacquelyn Caginia, Player

July 24, 2012

The Fantastic Four in their U8 season. Pictured Left to Right: Erin (Sarah's sister), Melissa, Sarah, Jaye, Jacq, Hope (former teammate).

My name is Jacquelyn “Jacq” Caginia, I am the goalkeeper for the MVLA Lightning U16 girls team. We are from Los Altos/MountainView area in California (Silicon Valley, near Stanford University).

My team’s journey to Nationals did not begin in the last year. This quest began back in 2004.  The four of us, Melissa “Mel” Fulton, JayeCori “Jaye” Boissiere, Sarah Robinson, and I were the original members of the Lightning team.  I like to call us the Fantastic Four, not because we are superstars, but because we all have very different playing style and strengths that we bring to the team.  We, like superheroes, have endured eight long years of hard work, practices, and small-group clinics four days a week since I can remember.

We are bonded for life, as strong as any sisters could be.  From U8 through U13 the four of us trained together as a team, trained together in clinics that our coach Albertin Montoya (U17 Womens National Team Head Coach and former coach of the Womens Pro League, FC Gold Pride) held for us, we had scrimmages, play dates in Jaye’s backyard playing soccer, went to summer soccer camps together, even created our own secret club that we called “SCORE”, we did everything together.  None of our friends at our respective schools understood our passion for soccer.  We missed so many other play dates and birthdays to hang out, playing soccer or watching soccer movies.  The four of us are nothing alike, but soccer brought us together.  I am 5’9, 140lbs while Sarah is almost 5″ and 90 lbs.  Jaye has superhuman kicking ability (I am thinking any NFL team would want her as a punter or place kicker!) while Melissa, the only redhead, has crazy footskills and legs bend in incredible ways.

The four of us have played together in over 436 games and scrimmages together!  That is actually a fact.

We are the spine of the team:  I am in goal, Jaye is our defensive mid, and Sarah and Mel are our attacking mids.  I can honestly say that I know and can predict exactly where each of these girls are when playing. I can read them like a book. I can close my eyes and make a blind pass to them.  The time we have had together on the field, the years of knowing each other so well, makes a huge difference.

The four of us have supported each other through broken bones, illness, and when someone’s head was “out of it”.  After the U13 years and up until today, the four of us have gone our own ways.  Only two of us go to the same high school.  Next year Sarah and Jaye will attend college together at Stanford University.  Melissa and I are still uncommitted, but looking at a few of the same schools. We aren’t best friends, but I love those three girls like you could never imagine.  It is not weird that we don’t hang out together off the soccer field anymore. SCORE is dead.   But, we still have that bond three to four times a week when we get together on that soccer field.  We have been through horrible losses together, and we have been at the highest point of success together on the field.  We have a respect for each other.

I love all of my Lightning teammates, current and ones that have come and gone.  These three hold a special place in my heart. From day one we have been there. We have experienced every moment together.  We started our journey to “Be the Best” back in 2004.  We are teammates for life.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *