The Royal City Youth Soccer Club's NW Barcelona was as good as its name in Coastal Cup final play this weekend.
Barca won the Coastal A Cup under-15 girls' final 1-0 over Coquitlam Metro-Ford Galaxy at Richmond high school on Saturday.
New West striker Tia Lore scored the lone goal of the game with a beautiful turn on an attack from the left-wing position, firing the eventual game winner in off the far post with a low, hard shot late in the opening half.
The play came following a dominant first half in which the Royal City club pressured the Coquitlam side from the opening kickoff.
Lore set the tempo in the first five minutes of the match when she was sprung in alone on a breakaway.
But only the heroics of Metro-Ford keeper Sierra Lombardese prevented an early score.
Lombardese was forced to make two more difficult saves in the half, before New West keeper Kristan Rodrigues got her hands on a long shot midway through the half that took an unexpected hop but glanced off the near post.
In the second half, Coquitlam pressed for an equalizer, but Barca's ball-control game eventually won the day, allowing New West to take complete control in the latter stages of the period.
"I feel really good. We worked hard all season for this," said New Wesminster's Celeste Bain, who anchored a solid Barca back line, including Alessia Mastromonaco, Mikayla Knowler, Sarah Ng and Ally Fabian.
Lore, who made all kinds of space for herself on the left side, was in on a number of chances in the second half as well.
Lore got by two Coquitlam defenders before setting up Carly Cody for a shot that skied over the bar. Lore also had a shot on goal glance off the crossbar to the head of fellow striker Montana Wegner. The eventual goal was called back on an offside call on the final play of the game.
"I don't think it was our best game. It was great that we got the outcome we wanted, but we can play better," said Bain after the match.
"It's something we've worked hard towards, not just this season but for the past three seasons," said Barca head coach Shawn Cody of the team's shortpassing prowess. "We made lots of mistakes at u-13 and u-14, but at u-15 that technical ability is more of an advantage over the faster, more physical teams.
"In the first half, there were some stretches we really had them stretched. That's the testament to the girls moving and getting in support. It brings the girls not on the ball into the equation."
With the win, Barca qualifies for the provincial cup, but with a handful of girls unable to make the July date in Kamloops it is uncertain whether the team will be able to field an adequate squad.
But next season, the New West coaching staff believes the players will be ready to take on an even bigger challenge - when the team intends to skip u-16 and jump up to the under-17/18 division.
"I think the girls are ready. These girls are ready now," said New West assistant coach Angelo Guglielmucci. "I think it's wonderful."
In the u-13 boys' final, the Burnaby Selects lost 1-0 to Richmond United in a shootout in the Coastal A Cup final.
After a scoreless regulation and overtime, the penalty shootout also went to extra shooters before an outcome was decided.
"We hit the crossbar, and it went out. They hit a crossbar, and it went in. It was one of those games; it was like a flip of a coin," said Burnaby head coach Frank Iuele.
Mario Greco Jr. had a couple of chances on partial breaks in the opening half, while Todor Baljak also had an opportunity go for naught.
Cristiano Basso had perhaps the best chance for the regular season champion Selects.
The left defender lofted a ball back into the opposition box that curled just inches wide of the Richmond goal.
The loss was just the second all season for the firstyear Selects.
"We had an excellent season," added Iuele. "They all grew as soccer players, and I think that is the most important thing."
The South Burnaby Metro Club Vipers also lost by a similar 1-0 score to Central City Elite in the u-15 boys' B Cup final on Saturday.
Playing without key players lost to injury, the Vipers central defence of Raghu Handa and Patrick Gregorowicz, and goalie Chris Schneller had standout games. Up front, Tyus Batiste had a nice goal called back on an offside call.
"They did extremely well considering they - only had one spare player," said South Burnaby Vipers head coach Don Ehrenholz. "I'm confident that the Vipers will do well in the Provincial Cup and can beat the CCB Elite in provincials with a full squad."
In the girls' Coastal B Cup final, Cliff Avenue United's Cinderella playoff run in the u-18 division came to an end following a 2-0 loss to Central City Elite 94 on Sunday.
© Copyright 2013