Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Brian Hafter, the coach of the San Bruno Dynamite 14-and-under girls’ soccer team.
During the first week of July, the San Bruno Dynamite were proud to participate in the AYSO National Games in Knoxville, TN. The Dynamite were the only girls' team from Northern California that participated in the "Under 14" Girls division. Twenty-four U14 Girls teams from across the country played in the tournament.
The national games consist of teams of different age groups and regions of the country participating in a week-long tournament, getting to know each other and having a cultural experience in the host city
It was an amazing week filled with new friendships, sportsmanship and great soccer.
On the first day of play, the Dynamite defeated teams from Oak Ridge, TN, and Chicago, IL, by scores of 5-0 and 4-0 respectively. The Dynamite then faced a very tough team from West Torrance, CA, and came from behind to earn a 1-1 tie. After defeating a team from Norris, TN, by a score of 5-0, the Dynamite lost their first game of the tournament by a score of 2-0 to Hacienda Heights, CA (an outstanding team that eventually would finish in second place overall in the tournament).
The Dynamite then advanced to the medal round, consisting of the top eight of the 24 teams. After losing 3-1 to a very strong team from Pasadena, the Dynamite bounced back to defeat Fontana, CA, 2-1 and reach the finals of the consolation bracket.
Ultimately, the Dynamite fell 3-1 to the defending 2010 champions from Lompoc, CA. But they earned a sixth place finish overall for the tournament.
The Dynamite team in Tennessee consisted of the following San Bruno AYSO players:
- Sierra Olsen
- Ahlam Taha
- Talia Hafter
- Jennifer Ortega
- Natalie Estelita
- Brianna Ledesma
- Anisha Kohli
- Jamie Swedberg
- Fernanda Castro
- Ashika Varma
- Julissa Gonzalez
- Margarett Qaqish
- Alix Mahon
- Angie Navarro
- Yazmin Zaparolli
Jim Estelita and I were honored to have the opportunity to coach the team and to represent San Bruno AYSO at the National Games.