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Manteca FCs under-13 team takes regionals
Gina Dias booted two goals to help the Manteca FC Arsenal win the 2009 National Cup VIII Regional in Ripon Saturday through Monday. - photo by Photo Contributed
RIPON — Manteca Futbol Club’s under-13 girls Arsenal are bride’s maids no more.

After stringing together weeks of second- and third-place tournament finishes, the Arsenal claimed its first championship at the biggest event it has been in so far, going 2-0-1 in the premier division of the 2009 U.S. Club Soccer National Cup VIII Regional at Mistlin Park.

“We’ve been playing well and placing in tournaments, but it’s nice to finally to get first place, especially at a tournament like that,” Arsenal coach Jay Mamorno said.

Manteca FC had already clinched a berth to the National Cup, which takes place during the last weekend of July in Virginia Beach, Va., after its second of three games Sunday.

The title run didn’t come easy for the Arsenal, which had to come back from first-half deficits twice.

In the opener Saturday morning, Marin FC Red took a one-goal lead into halftime before Sydnee Canales, Daisy Rivera and Taylor Texeira spearheaded Manteca FC’s second-half onslaught en route to a 3-2 victory.

Goalkeeper Ashley Almeida and defenders Bri Fernandez, Ebony Ezeji, Kelie Piazza and Kristin DeBrouwer dominated the second half. The Arsenal attempted just three shots in the first half before unleashing 17 in the second.

“We just really took it to them in the second half,” Mamorno said.

The clincher was a 4-2 comeback victory over Bullard Blue of Fresno. Manteca FC was again limited to just three first-half shots, falling behind 2-1.

Elizabeth Martinez led the way with two goals, while Gina Dias and Canales pitched in one apiece.

The Arsenal capped the tournament Monday with a 3-3 draw against Sacramento Extreme. Mollie Brady, Dias and Texeira accounted for the goals, with Harley Costa, Haley Cook, Rachel Sianez and Stephanie Maduli providing good midfield play.
— Jonamar Jacinto