Sept. 10, 2015 - The newly formed Santa Clara Sporting 03 Boys White Team was crowned the Copa Madera Champions after they battled through sweltering heat last weekend in Central California. The top two teams (accumulated on points in the group stage) would earn a berth to compete in the championship game. The Sporting boys started the tournament with a huge 7-0 win against the Alliance FC Team. They saw their toughest competition against the Albany-Berkely Lightning team but still pulled-out a 2-0 win. Santa Clara's final group match was played against the Black Oaks Juniors Team. Before the third bracket game was played, the Black Oaks sat on top of the group table and seemed a good test for the Sporting Team. A win meant a double header in the final as both teams held the 1st or 2nd place spots throughout the tournament. The Sporting boys took care of the Black Oaks Team with a solid 3-1 win.
The championship game was a rematch against the Black Oaks Team and Sporting had the advantage in both games by keeping possession all over the pitch. With the heat and fatigue setting in, both teams worked hard to create scoring chances. But, Sporting finished on top by scoring 2 goals in the first half. By patiently building up play and stopping any counterattacks, Sporting dictated the run of play.
Drama unfolded when a long ball from the Black Oaks midfield was received by their striker who went one-on-one with the Sporting goalie. Quick to act, Santa Clara's keeper took the attacking Black Oaks player down just outside the box. The referee issues the Sporting keeper a red card. The remainder of the second half tested the Sporting boys with a player down. Yet, Black Oaks were simply unable to take advantage of the extra player and the reality soon set in. Sporting prevailed with a 3-0 win in the final.
Only a single goal was scored against this side in the whole tournament while the team managed to score a total of 9 goals in four matches. Congratulations to the players, Coach Audren Cashman and Coach Jan Herjet for all the work that paid off!