Get Newsletter

U14-U19 #NorCalStateCup State Division Recap


For the first time since 2019, the U14-U19 NorCal State Cup finals took place at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento in what was a weekend full of surprises, drama, and a thankful return to the pinnacle of the competition that so many of us love.

While more than 100 teams competed for titles in their respective divisions, 20 braved the late Spring heat in the State Division for the right to lift the trophy and call themselves No. 1 in Northern California.

At the top level, Placer United proved to be the club of the weekend after winning three of the five State Division finals that they qualified for. The only other team to claim more than one State title was California Odyssey who went 2-for-2 in finals.

Rounding out the State champions were ECFC Salinas, Los Gatos United, FC Bay Area Surf, FC Sporting Sacramento, and PSV Union

Here are your State Division recaps:


U14 Girls State Final
Placer United
While NPL 1 side MVLA dominated much of the early possession in the first State Division final to kick off Saturday, it was ECNL Regional League side Placer United who ultimately struck first. The goal came just 13 minutes into the match after Cassie Kelly cut inside to finish to the far post for a 1-0 lead. However, MVLA wouldn’t go away easily and sent waves of attackers forward in the attempt of finding an equalizer. That tying goal nearly came in the 28th minute when the Bay Area side hit the crossbar. From here, Placer ceded most of the possession and attempted to hit on the break, which they were able to do with three minutes left in the half as United attacker Giovana Costanzo intercepted a pass in the MVLA half with the keeper well off of her line. Instead of hitting it first time, though, Costanzo dribbled 25 yards further before finishing inside the near post to kill off the game.
U14 Boys State Final
5/14Los Gatos United
Association Football Club
Just six days prior to their State Cup final meeting, Association Football Club and Los Gatos United met in NPL Champions League play in a game that was so tight that it could only be resolved by a single goal. AFC won on that day, but Los Gatos got their revenge Saturday at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. In what proved to be a cagey affair in which chances were few and far between, AFC appeared to have the better of the play until they were caught over the top in the 21st minute by a long ball into space that striker Oluwakayode Aina pounced on. While holding off an AFC defender, Aina kept his composure to dribble the keeper and tap into an empty net. Just five minutes after the break, Aina doubled his side’s advantage after teammate Miles Quick beat a defender and crossed to Aina for a one touch finish.


U15 Girls State Final
5/14Placer United
2-2 (Placer win 5-4 on kicks from the mark)
FC Bay Area Surf
Just over a month ago, Placer United lost to FC Bay Area Surf in the NPL Champions League by the finest of margins, so it was fitting that they would get their revenge in the State Cup final by even finer margins – kicks from the mark. In a game that was truly wild, Surf scored just two minutes in on a counter attack. Though Placer saved the initial Bay Area shot off of the line, Surf attacker Mariah Betancourt’s simple hustle play allowed her to tap the ball in. Just four minutes later, Placer won a free kick 30 yards from goal that Marley Marin smashed into the back of the net to equalize. Two minutes after that, Bay Area’s Vanessa Aguilar was taken down in the box for a penalty, which Placer goalkeeper Payton Hyde saved, only to be whistled for coming off of her line too early. On the retake, Hyde again saved, preserving the scoreline. United then hit the post in the 22nd minute before things settled down a bit. In the 58th minute, it appeared as if Surf were on their way to a second victory over Placer in as many months when Milla Lee turned a defender and hit a deflected shot home. That 2-1 scoreline held until the 74th minute when United won a penalty that Taylor Grover slotted home to take the game to overtime. Ultimately, it went to penalties, where Placer won 5-4 thanks to another save by Hyde from the spot.
U15 Boys State Final
5/14ECFC Salinas
Clovis Crossfire
In what was the third rematch from an earlier league game in the first four NorCal State Cup State Division finals, The match between ECFC Salinas and Clovis Crossfire proved to be the only one that went the same way as the original: an ECFC victory. In a chippy affair in which chances were few and far between, when either side finally found themselves in on goal, the shot eventually seemed to always fly over the crossbar. The match remained deadlocked until the 55th minute when ECFC found themselves 3v3 at the top of the Clovis box. An ECFC winger passed across to another player who smartly dummied the ball to allow Hector Garcia plenty of time and space to finish home for the eventual winner. Eleven minutes later, with Clovis stretched while attempting to find an equalizer, ECFC sealed the game off on the break via Jorge Uribe.


U16 Girls State Final
5/15PSV Union
Marin FC
Though the scoreline for the PSV Union - Marin FC final ended up being 3-0, for much of the match, it appeared as if neither side would hit the back of the net and the game would finish with penalties. In regular time there were few chances for either side. PSV got free on a corner kick early, but shot well over the bar, while an early Marin curler went just wide of the post. Marin did finally score in the 48th minute only for the referee to flag it for offside. Three minutes into overtime, PSV won a free kick roughly 25 yards out and up stepped Andrea Lu, who hit it into the upper righthand corner of the net. As Marin FC pressed for an equalizer, PSV’s Makayla Marin-Valencia scored twice in the final minute of the game to give her side a three goal victory.
U16 Boys State Final
5/15FC Sporting Sacramento
Association Football Club
In a back-and-forth matchup between two of the most entertaining and highest-scoring teams in the competition, FC Sporting Sacramento defeated Association Football Club 4-2 in overtime just a week after they also took down AFC in the NPL Champions League. Kevin Pineda opened the scoring for Sporting, knocking home a rebound from Jorge Garcia to help take Sacramento into the break up 1-0. However, just after halftime, AFC equalized and then took the lead on a pair of headers, one from Sean Sweeney and another from Alec Balica. Just like in the previous few rounds, Sporting would need a comeback, and just like in the previous few rounds, they would get it. First Artem Vovk went on a long, winding run to equalize in the 59th minute and send the game into overtime, where he would star. With just two minutes until kicks from the mark would be needed, Vovk won a penalty and converted it before completing his hat trick in the last minute of the game.


U17 Girls State Final
5/15FC Bay Area Surf
Placer United
Within the first eight minutes of the U17 Girls State Division final, Placer United dug themselves a huge hole, allowing two early goals on the first two chances of the game after FC Bay Area Surf’s Angelema Akayirige twice beat her defender down the right wing and crossed for Kory Pickelle to finish first time. It appeared as if Surf would cruise from here only for Placer to get back into with a counter attack goal from Kiana Faucette just five minutes before halftime. In first half stoppage time, Placer attacker beat a Bay Area defender on the right side before crossing it far post for Courtney Wager to equalize the match. Just five minutes after the break, Placer took the lead for the first time, with Chelyn Ackerman hit a shot from 25 yards to give United three straight goals. However, Surf were able to get into it as Pickelle completed her hat trick, forcing overtime. As the game appeared to be headed to penalties, Akayirige again tore down the right side of the field, but this time instead of assisting, she was taken down in the box before she could cross, allowing for Madison Juarez to finish home from the spot for a 4-3 victory.
U17 Boys State Final
5/15Walnut Creek Surf
California Odyssey
In a match that turned into a defensive slugfest pretty quickly, chances were few and far between in the U17 Boys State Division final between Walnut Creek Surf and California Odyssey. What was a chippy first half, however, turned into a more free flowing game after the break, especially after the 52nd minute when Odyssey finally broke the deadlock. It was Zachariah Rodriguez who got what would be the eventual game winner as the California attacker flicked a cross home to make it 1-0. Surf had their chances to equalize, though, perhaps none better than in the 60th minute when one of their shots was cleared off the line by an Odyssey defender, but the rebound then fell to Surf, who were fouled in the box. But then California Odyssey goalkeeper Angel Joaquin-Guzman made the play of the game, denying the Surf penalty to preserve the 1-0 scoreline that the game would finish with.


U19 Girls State Final
5/15Marin FC
Placer United
In a game in which most of the play came in the midfield, there were precious few chances to go around between either Marin FC or Placer United. Sometimes games are decided by just a few moments and in this one just two made the difference. First in the 37th minute, Placer attacker Daryn Conner whipped in a corner kick to the near post that was knocked into the back of the net by a Marin player for a 1-0 lead. With the Bay Area side attempting to get back into the game, the second important moment came in the 55th minute when a Marin play uncorked a shot from roughly 30 yards. As the shot appeared headed for the upper corner, United goalkeeper Alyssa Savig got a good read on it to dive at full stretch and make the save of the best chance Marin would have for the rest of the match.
U19 Boys State Final
5/15California Odyssey
Placer United
The U19 Boys State Division matchup between California Odyssey and Placer United proved to be one of the most exciting of the weekend as the goals came early and often. The first was scored in the 12th minute as Odyssey attacker James Ponce rifled the ball into the lower left corner of the net shortly after his side saw what was seemingly the opener disallowed for offside. Just 11 minutes later, Andrew Huerte doubled the lead only for Placer’s Lucas Summers to cut the deficit in half just two minutes after that. With California attempting to hold onto their 2-1 lead, United’s Alhasan Alaskati arrived at the back post to equalize despite an attempted sliding clearance from Odyssey. As the game moved towards overtime, California sent waves into the attack and were rewarded for their aggressiveness as Ponce again scored in the 86th minute to give Odyssey their second State title in as many games.