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NCSA Rangers prevail in championship thriller
Members of the Northern California Soccer Academy’s 13-under boys team hoist the Placer Prestige Cup trophy after edging Milan FC Rossoneri of Hilmar 2-1 in Sacramento. - photo by Photo Contributed
RIO LINDA — The Manteca-based Northern California Soccer Academy Rangers Premier 13-under boys team put itself on the map by winning the three-day Placer United Prestige Cup at Cherry Island Soccer Complex Sunday.

NCSA sought revenge and got it against Milan FC Rossoneri, consisting of players from the Hilmar area, beating the nation’s sixth-ranked under-13 boys team, according to, 2-1 in Sunday’s championship match.

The Rangers had previously taken a 7-0 loss to the chin by Milan FC Rossoneri in a NorCal Premier Spring League contest. NCSA came into the event ranked 254th nationally, but the win propelled it to 40th in the country, 18th in Region 4 and fourth in Northern California.

Milan FC remains Northern California’s top-ranked under-13 boys team.

The Rangers nearly blew the big win. They took the first lead in the 20th minute, but Milan FC knotted it early in the second half.

A direct kick from roughly 30 yards out put NCSA back up with 17 minutes left. Then it was about holding on for dear life.

The win seemed imminent as the match reached stoppage time, but NCSA needed to clear the ball away on what was certain to be the final play — a nail-biting cornerkick. The ball caromed off several players as it bounced dangerously near the Rangers’ goal box, and play was whistled dead when a Ranger was called for a handball infraction.

With a chance to send the match into overtime, the Milan FC player appointed to take the penalty kick struck the crossbar, and the ball was cleared out of the Rangers’ zone for good as the match was halted by the final whistle.

Earlier on Sunday, NCSA defeated Placer United Gold 3-1 in the semifinals.

The team opened the preliminary stage Friday with a 5-0 drubbing of Danville Mustang SC Rossoneri before continuing their run with a 3-1 victory over Atlas Sacramento 96. The Rangers assured a first-place finish in their flight by tying Mt. Hamilton Pac Atlas 96, 2-2, after falling behind by two goals.

The NCSA Rangers Premier, now 21-2-3 on the season, is comprised of Mantecans Alex Hernandez, Abel Lopez, Juan DelaTorre, Rigo Gomez, Marcus Montano, Manuel Nuno and George Barron; Modesto native Chase Abdrade; Tracyite Ryan Chaney; Stockton residents Nate Edwards and Austin Steinhart; Lodi residents Christian Ochoa and Matt Hurlbut; and Chase Stamer of Copperopolis.

The Rangers are scheduled to meet Milan FC Rossoneri again this Sunday in the Davis College Showcase.  

 The team is looking to raise funds through donations for its trip to the U.S. Club National Championships in Virginia Beach, Va. starting on July 28. For more information about the club, visit

— Jonamar Jacinto