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MFC Newcastle places third in u-12 State Cup
Players from the Manteca FC under-12 girls soccer team pose with their third-place medals earned in the NorCal Premier State Cup on Jan. 28. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Manteca FC Newcastle, one of the top under-12 girls soccer teams in the nation, finished its run in the NorCal Premier State Cup with a third-place finish.

Dayanna Hernandez was the hero in the third-place match against El Dorado United Eclipse Sol at Woodland Community Park Jan. 28, delivering the lone goal of a 1-0 victory.

Goalies Andrea Eusebio and Marcella Salyer combined for the shutout along with defenders Kelsey Hill, Nathalie Munguia and Linnea Natale. Midfielders were Anika Berstrand, Faith Chavez, Daisy Galindo, Alexis Vilarino and Mia Villegas. Mia Cazel, Lejla Pepic and Maddie Cuculich anchored the attacking third.

Newcastle finished 8-1 in the tournament. They opened with the preliminary seeding round in September and October, earning wins over Ajax United Elite, Tracy FC Blaze and California Odyssey Soccer Club by a combined 29-1 score.

Manteca FC again tore through its pool in the state seeding round, outscoring opponents, 7-1. It faced the North Bay Elite Futbol Club Barcelona, Davis Legacy Soccer Club Millennium and Mustang Blaze.

In the quarterfinals, the fourth-seeded Newcastle defeated No. 5 San Juan Soccer Club Spirits 3-1 on Jan. 21 before falling to Mustang Pride 3-2 a day later. Eighth-seeded Mustang Pride — which upset No. 1 Santa Clara Sporting in the quarterfinals — went on to drop the championship match 3-1 to the No. 3 Santa Rosa United Tremors.

Manteca FC Newcastle was ranked sixth nationally by heading into the final stage of the State Cup. They will hold tryouts for the new season Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Woodward Park.