Coming home with the first place trophy for the second time in as many tournaments, the Oakdale United Insanity U16 girls played their way to a 4-0 mark in the Roseville Invitational over the Labor Day weekend.
The girls repeated as champions in the tournament, though last year were tops in the U14 division. This year, with 11 players returning and four solid additions to the squad, the girls defeated all opponents in the U16 bracket to claim the top honors once again.
“We were definitely pushed,” said head coach Brian Orr, in his second year with the Insanity squad. “We were challenged first by a good Roseville team and beat them 2-1, then we had a tough match against Orangevale, it was a re-match of last year’s championship game and you could feel the revenge on the field, there was tension throughout that game.”
This year, the Insanity faced Orangevale in bracket play. Last year, they were on opposite sides of the bracket and met in the final but this year, the teams met in a 5:20 p.m. contest on Saturday, with the temperature hovering near 100 degrees at the Maidu Soccer Complex in Roseville.
Opening up on Saturday morning, the Insanity girl got goals from Markie Arnold, off an assist from Izzy Arellano, in the first half and Arellano tallied one early in the second half, off an assist from Montana Nunes, to go up 2-0. The U16 Roseville Ambush team converted on a late penalty kick but couldn’t get any closer.
The late afternoon Saturday game was a tough, physical contest and Orangevale held a 1-0 lead at the half.
“With 15 minutes to go (in the game) our girls tied it up, they fought hard,” Orr said of the goal that came from Danae Rose off the assist from Arellano.
Energized, the Insanity seized the momentum to get Orangevale into scramble mode and kept the pressure on, turning up the intensity and getting the go ahead goal from Jessica Estrada with assists from Rose and Arellano.
“We got that goal with about five minutes left to win that game,” Orr pointed out. “It was a total team effort.”
Defender Kori Altmann was hampered by a bad ankle but played effectively in three out of the four weekend games, rested by the coach on Sunday morning. Offensively, players worked well together to pass the ball and set up shots, while the rest of the defense stepped it up a notch to keep their opponents at bay, giving up just three goals in four games. Keeper Leah Martinez made some quick decisions to take away potential shots, not letting many balls get past her.
“Our offense played really well together, getting their passing game going,” said Orr.
Sunday morning put the girls into a game against the Azzuri Flames and they took an easy 6-0 win off the field, leading 5-0 at the halfway point. The Flames were undermanned and though they fought hard, they were no match for the Insanity. Goals in that game came from Arnold, Rose, Arellano, defender Katelyn Jackson, Jordyn Cooley and Christina Bradshaw. Notching assists were Brittany Carpenter (2), Bradshaw and Cooley.
Totaling 26 points in bracket play, the Insanity made it to the championship game on Sunday afternoon against the Roseville Impact, which was the bracket winner in Flight A with 23 total points.
Oakdale got the first goal of the championship contest, Arnold finding the net 14 minutes in off an assist from Arellano. It was Jackson who found the net again at the 21:00 mark, sending a high arcing ball toward the goal, slipping it in behind the keeper. That put Oakdale up 2-0, but Roseville kept charging hard and got one goal back at the 25:00 mark.
Working to protect the one goal lead in the second half, Oakdale’s defensive corps tightened up and Arellano got an insurance goal with 10 minutes to play, getting assists were Alyssa Perigen and Arnold. Host Roseville could not convert on any more shots and Oakdale had the hard fought title in hand.
“We’re proud of the girls,” said assistant coach Sean Cooley. “They struggled a little bit early on Saturday but they played through it and came together as a team.”
The Insanity girls were champions in the Tracy Tournament in August and now add the Roseville title, hoping to repeat as champs in the Fresno Tournament, with a trip there anticipated at the end of October.