Many times it’s hard to differentiate between soccer teams battling it out on the pitch. The margin of error between scoring and not scoring is very slim, and teams often battle 80 minutes to a 0-0 draw and appear quite equal.
That was the case Sunday in the Nor-Cal state cup final in a showdown between the Folsom Earthquakes U-19 boys’ team, and Santa Clara Sporting. Under the hot sun at Cosumnes River College, the evenly matched teams battled back and forth for Nor-Cal supremacy. In the end, the only difference between the two teams was a penalty-kick scored by Santa Clara in the final five minutes of the game.
“Our goalie, Frankie Turnbull, was going out after a ball and caught their forward with his leg,” Earthquakes’ coach Anthony Chimienti said. “At that point in the game, I didn’t think it was a penalty, but their guy sold it pretty good. It was an unlucky break and a questionable call, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Chimienti felt it was an evenly played contest in all phases. Santa Clara dominated play in the first half, while the Earthquakes owned the second except for the penalty kick goal.
“It was definitely a tough game,” Chimienti said. “It was very even and could have gone either way. Santa Clara is a gritty, physical team, and their style got us out of our game. We never settled into the way we play. We had our chances, though. I think if we had scored, we would have won. That would have settled us down.”
As the game played out, Chimienti felt the game was headed to penalty kicks.
“That’s how even the two teams were,” he said. “In my head, I felt it was going to PKs, and that probably would have been a fair outcome.”
With the win, Santa Clara Sporting not only claimed the state cup, but rose to the top of the national gotsoccer.com rankings.