We woke up at 7:00 and got dressed in our uniforms before breakfast. We had eggs, bacon, bagels, and fruit for the pre-game meal. Soon after breakfast we all gathered in the living room with our bags packed and sunscreen on. We jammed out to music so we would be fired up and ready for the game. When we got to the fields we put our gear on and played ping (monkey in the middle) for 30 minutes before we started our warm up. Our warm up consisted of dynamic and static stretching, passing, possession, and crossing and finishing. Then it was game time. We were a little intimidated by the So Cal Blues because they were ranked first in the nation. When the ref blew the whistle our nerves died down and we started to relax and play our game. They got an early goal but that just motivated us more. We came out stronger and with more intensity which won us a goal scored by Madison Williams off of her hard work to tie the game. When we came out in the second half we had more energy and intensity then before but we were unable to finish opportunities. The regulation ended in a tie so we had to go into a 20 minute (10 minute halves) overtime. We came out hard but both were really tired making it harder for anyone to score. It remained tied throughout overtime, putting each team into a penalty shootout. In between overtime and the penalty shootout the nerves were racing in each player. Luis made a list of the player who would be taking the penalty kick. The list consisted of Kenady Adams, Sophie Smith, Riley Dietrich, Jaelin Howell, and Madison Williams. So Cal Blues was up first. There was nothing Monique Roche could do to stop the penalty kick as it went in. Kenady was up first for our team. Like the other girl for So Cal Blues it was unstoppable. The next player on the Blues sailed it to the right of the goal putting us in the lead. Next Sophie made her PK keeping our lead. The next girl for the other team shot her PK and made it. Then Riley was up. She shot her PK with confidence causing her to make it. Once again keeping our lead. Another one of their players made her PK. Jaelin was up to take her PK. Once again she shot an unstoppable ball into the back of the net. Everyone knew that if Monique saved the next shot we would win. All the pressure was on Monique. The So Cal Blue player shot a hard driven ball to the corner causing Monique to make an amazing diving save, winning us the game! As soon as she got up everyone including the U18 girls team started screaming and ran to Monique happily. Everyone was hugging each other and crying tears of joy. After we finished celebrating we took a group picture in celebration of the two great wins and the two Arsenal Colorado finalists. When we made it back to the house we each took ice baths to prepare for the championship game. After ice baths we all relaxed and some even took short naps. The people that were awake watched 20 minutes of Safe Haven. When people woke up from their naps we all went to the Dad’s house for dinner with the U18 team. At the Dad’s we ate pasta, salad, chicken, and gatorade. We all talked with Jamie, Luis, Dave, and Luis. Some girls even got pushed into the pool. After everyone was ready to leave we came back to the house. At the house we got our scouting report from Jamie and Kris. After the report we all went upstairs to finish watching Safe Haven. Then we went to bed.
Haley Rockwell, Riley Dietrich, Esther Mahler U13 GG
We woke up to an early morning at 5:15. We got ready quickly to eat a scrumptious breakfast the chaperones prepared for us. We were passing out at the table because it was so early!!! Once we were ready and set, we drove off to the fields with the music pumping in the car. When we got out of the car, it was raining pretty hard. The fields were muddy and wet. During warm ups, we were really relaxed and that helped us. Then once the game started, we turned on the fury and got ferocious. We scored in the first 5 min. That goal brought our confidence up. We didn’t score another goal the whole half. But that didn’t stop us. The second half we came out even stronger. We scored 3 more goals in 15 min. The other team was now in a deep cravas and had to dig themselves out quickly.They sadly scored with a break away. That does not happen in our house. We strikes again and scored 1 more goal to end the game with a score of of 5-1 us. Later that day we had a delicious lunch right before we went snorkeling. Then on the drive to go snorkeling we partied in the back seat celebrating the victorious win.once we got there, there was some crowd management problems. But we said “no,no,no girl. That won’t do honey buns.” Then we finally got our way and started to snorkel it up like pros. After 2 hours of seeing magnificent, fantastic, amazing,cool,colorful, dazzling fish and turtles, we left the crystal clear water and went to the dry hopeless land. And then we got in the car to go home for a scrumptious dinner of steak and noodles. Then Kris gave us a scouting with Jamie and Louis in the background giving us some sick tips. Once we were done, we headed off the bed saying “night, night!”;) and now wears here in our freezing room writing this blog. All in all it was a beaut. Thank you Denver and good night.
Jaelin Howell & Sydney Teslow
Day 4, day before quarter finals:
Today was a day for downtime. We were woken up 15 minutes before we had to leave by our chaperones! We went to Pearl Harbor and it was a very good experience. Honestly though, I’m just ready to kick some butt tomorrow. Heads up Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks Elite… We’re coming for you.
Morgan Abbitt, U16 GG
Today we played Alaska. We had our scouting report before it and it was a good indicator of the team. We also found out that a girl pn the Alaska team was ejected the first game of the tournament for punching an opposing player! But luckily that didn’t phase me. We still came out just as hard and ready to win and advance. First of all, our game started 20 minutes late because there was a hole in the ground! They finally fixed it and we started the game. At the very start of the game a penalty kick was called against our team. And they scored. It was heartbreaking, especially being on the bench. Because there is nothing you can do. But our team pulled together and scored two goals before the half. And 2-1 is the most dangerous lead you could have. And I scored the final goal! With 15 minutes left in the half. It guaranteed out win. But we still had to work for each other and play our hardest til the end. I’m so excited to play in the quarter finals on Friday!
U16 GG Morgan Abbitt
Yesterday we had a game at 8:00 am against New Mexico Rush and tied 1-1. After, we went to the beach for a while and then we got ready for the Luau. The U17 girls rode on a large luxury bus with custom music requests playing in the background. When we got to the Luau, the team made fresh flower leis and got tattoos. However, the best part was taking pictures with the cute island boys! We also all danced the hula on stage: it was a blast! Today the plan is to go to a lagoon and go snorkeling, swimming and hang out with the team at the parents’ resort on the other side of the island!!
U17 GG Twins; Rachel & Sarah
Our exciting journey started with a not so exciting eight hour plane ride. When we got to the island is when it truly set in that we would be competing at regionals in Hawaii! The first few days the team spent acclimating to the island (and a little beach going helped us really get in the Hawaiian spirit). Our first game today was against Legends FC from southern California. It was a tough battle and we ended up losing 1-2. The team showed up to play and hopefully we can continue this mentality for the rest of the tournament.
Juliet Mullens and Izzy Anders U17 GG
My name is Morgan Abbitt and I play for U16 Arsenal Gold. My team won state cup in the fall and I was voted MVP. We got the chance to go to Hawaii to play in Far West Regionals. This was our second game day here. We played Carlsbad South California. It was brutal. I started on the bench and went in with about 25 minutes left in the half, and two goals against us. The other team was so technical. We pushed through and worked super hard. But it didn’t pay off. We ended up losing 5-1. All I have to say is that I’m ready to come out tomorrow and win and advance to the quarter finals. And to all of the younger players out there, having the opportunity to play at a tournament like this is a huge honor. Don’t take anything for granted, always play your hardest, play for your team, and play for your club and your pride. We play Alaska tomorrow, wish us luck Colorado! This one is for you Arsenal.
Morgan Abbitt, U16 GG
Hi my name is Leticia Oliva and I am on the U16 Arsenal Gold Girls team and have worked my way up from the blue team to the gold through a lot of hard work and dedication. I have put so much work into myself trying to make myself the best person on and off the field and have been voted captain for 3 years in a row.
Right now I am currently in O’ahu, Hawaii and participating in regionals with my team. Wake up call came at 8:30 and breakfast at 8:45. The nerves were starting to kick in and reality was starting to set in. This wasn’t any vacation or at the least any soccer tournament either. This was the beginning of what we had been working for. This was the time that we had to show to everyone what we had been working on for such a long time. Our first game was at 2:00 in the afternoon against the Idaho state champs. We ate our breakfast and had some down time to try to let the nerves settle in our stomach and we were on our way to our 45 minute drive to the fields in a newly found place that we would be battling up and down the fields for our spot to move on. We show up at the fields and set up our cones behind field 13. And it just so happened that the other team set up right next to us for an attempt to intimidate us. Of course that and their bright neon green uniforms didnt have an affect on us. We came out with all we had and battled in the 84 degree weather with a humidity level that made it feel as if it was 95. This all didnt stop us. We came out with a job. Our coach Tracy had prepared us and gave us everything we needed to win and we weren’t about to let us down. We came out strong and kept position pretty much all game and came out on top with a 2-0 win. We were ecstatic and ready to move on to our next step. Our only goal? Move out of pool play and take things one step at a time. We had done all we could for the day and came out with 3 points. This was the start we needed to set a tone off for our trip and first time at regionals. Next step? Some serious sleep!
First, we woke up for a delicious breakfast around 8:00am. Soon after that we all started to get ready for our 2:00pm game against Hawaii Rush Nike. We had to gather our things and gear to leave around 10:30 because the traffic was so bad. Normally it would only take 45 minutes but traffic made it difficult to arrive in less than 1 1/2 hours. When we finally reached the fields, we all put our gear on and got ready to warm up. Warm up took 40 minutes, but it didn’t feel like we were focused on the game. When the game was close to starting, we had to do the international walkout. The whistle blew and we got a rude awakening. We all weren’t focused on our tasks and we panicked. We became very negative towards each other. As the half went on, the score remained 0-0. At halftime, we all realized it is now or never, and we have to leave everything on the field. Kris and Luis were frustrated, but gave us advice on how be more effective and finish the game. When the second half started, we came out relaxed and gave 110%. In around 10 minutes, the goalie came off her line, and Madison Williams chipped up and over the keepers head, and into the goal! We celebrated as a team, and quickly returned to our positions. We continued to penetrate and pressure the goal. This paid off when Sophie Smith scored around 5 minutes after Madison Williams did. She scored by receiving a pass from Jaelin Howell at about the 18, curving a pass around the keeper and into the goal. We continued to keep up the high pressure and they did as well. However, Rush Nike never successfully made a comeback. Finally, the whistle blew, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We had reached our goal and were happy with the results, but were not happy with the way we played. Soon after, we drove home and picked up ice for ice baths. Ice baths provided 15 minutes of relief for our muscles. Then, we swam in the ocean behind our beach house wearing our “completely stylish” water shoes. After we finished swimming, we took showers and cleaned our battle wounds up. We were all exhausted and ready to enjoy a home cooked meal. After dinner, everyone was happy and full, and ready to rest for our last pool play game.
Monique Roche/ Jade Gosar/ Taylor Bee
First, we woke up at 8:00am. Then we fixed up our hair and washed our face before heading upstairs. When we got upstairs we got our delightful breakfast burritos and sat at the table with everyone else. During breakfast, Jaelin Howell had brought up a gecko that she had caught from outside. After breakfast we headed back to our to assigned rooms and got on our game face and uniforms. We were told to put on all blue for the game against LaRoca, Utah. After putting up our hair we headed back upstairs to fill our water bottles for the game. We made sure that they were full of ice for the hot and humid game coming up. After everyone was prepared to head to the fields we had a little competition on the ping pong table. Kris had come down about 10 minutes after we started to tell us to start heading out to our cars. The car ride was silent. Everyone thinking about the nerve racking game ahead of us. When we got to the fields it was hot. We all met up and got a spot in the shade and ate a banana. After 15 minutes we put on our gear and started warmups. The first whistle blew and we had the kickoff. The game was high pressured and tense until they scored their goal. The arsenal team knew we couldn’t give up and we had to step up our game. Half time came and we were down 1 to 0. As hot as we were, us and the coaches both knew that we had to improve our game if we wanted something more than a tie. We came out with more intensity than Utah in the second half. The goalie had been playing high up and all we had to do was take a high and hard shot. Jaelin dribbled up the middle and cut outside away from the defense. She took a hard shot right above the goalies reach and it went right in. We all screamed in joy and relief and boosted up our energy. The game went and we had chances back and forth but no results. Kenady Adams started with ball at about half line and dribbled with a breakaway all the way into the box. She took a power striking shot right over the goal keepers hands. We were up 2 to 1. The final whistle blew and we all celebrated in joy! After the game we had a talk and cool down before heading to our parents. After hugging out parents we went over to the tent and got our shirts and sweat shirts for the tournament. We all headed back to the beach house after that. When we arrived we had lunch. After lunch we took ice baths to prepare for the long week of games ahead. We all took showers and cleaned up. After meeting back in the family room we took a long walk on the beach. We took lots of pictures along the way. We came back inside and had a good filling dinner. We all met up in one room to have a talk about the component for the next day. Tomorrow we play Hawaii Rush. We talked about how to play defensively and offensively. After the talk we all headed back to our assigned rooms and got in bed. We laid in bed thinking about the game to come. Then it was lights out.
Kendall Furrow and Madison Williams of the U13 GG Arsenal Colorado Team;