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Player Development Program Girls Host Japanese Selection

For the third straight year, NorCal Premier Soccer’s Player Development Program welcomed a Japanese National Team to the Bay Area as the 2002 Girls PDP State Team faced off against a similarly-aged youth selection from Japan Saturday in San Ramon.

Playing three periods of 30 minutes each, the PDP side came out to a 2-0 lead before ultimately falling 6-4 in a thrilling match that featured a plethora of high-quality attacking soccer.

But it was the lessons learned and mutual understanding that the athletes from both sides will take away from this unique opportunity.

“It was good for those girls to see something a little bit different,” said Girls PDP Director David Robertson. “Even though they lost the game — and these girls aren’t used to losing games because their club teams are some of the dominant clubs — I’ve never seen kids walk off the field losing a game with such a big smile on their face.

“I think it was something a little different and one of the lifelong experiences that they won’t forget,” Robertson added.

Kellie Pagador led the PDP squad with a pair of goals, while Manuri Alwis and Michaela Rosenbaum — a U-15 national team player — each added a strike.

For Pagador, the brace was something extra special, as she was part of the squad of 2001s that traveled to Japan last summer to take on several elite Japanese squads.

After the match, the PDP 2003 North and South State teams squared off against each other, battling to a 2-2 draw.

Boston Girman and Kaylie Lowden scored for the North team, while America Frias and Tiger Rendon provided the goals for the South.