In the opening games, the Ajax girls beat the host Diablo FC Black 10-1 and Diablo FC Blue U12 4-0. The Ajax defense, led by midfielders Delanie Sheehan, Tessa Cortez, Shania Dean and Lauren Sisneros, was stifling in both matches, augmented by the strong backfield defense of Robin McCarthy, Lynzie Hudson, Kyleen Nelson, Carolyn Buxton and goalkeepers Caylin Stanley and Michaela Vanderklugt. The Ajax girls were explosive on offense, spearheaded by multiple-goal-scorers Devyn Gilfoy, Sheehan, Toni Melissare, Dean, Julie Tapia and Sisneros.
The competition got tougher on day two of the tournament, as Ajax faced the Livermore Fusion Maroon U12. Both teams played hard-nosed defense, and the match ended in a 0-0 tie. As the only undefeated team in the tournament, the Ajax girls advanced to the championship match as the No. 1 seed versus the Diablo FC 98 girls premiere team.
The championship match was another hard-fought contest, featuring high-contact play from both sides. Once again, the Ajax defense stood strong, limiting Diablo FC a mere handful of shots on goal. Offensively, Ajax shots continued to miss their mark, flying just wide and high of the Diablo goal on several occasions. The championship game ended in a 0-0 tie and went to overtime.
Despite two five-minute overtime halves, neither team could put the ball on net, and the game was decided on penalty kicks. Each player lined up to alternately take her shot at victory, and the Ajax shooters took the match easily, thanks to goals from Dean, Sheehan and Melissare. The player of the game, however, was Ajax goalkeeper Vanderklugt, as she turned away two of Diablo’s first three shots to secure the victory.
– Contributed by Shawn Gilfroy