SRU Thunder rolls into State Cup finals


If the Santa Rosa United U15 girls Thunder team is going to win the CYSA-North State Cup…

And if Thunder is going to advance to June’s Far West Regionals in Honolulu…

They are going to have to beat the defending State Cup champion Foothill MVLA Avalanche.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

They already have accomplished just such a feat once this season.

“We played them six weeks ago in the Juventus Spring Showcase in San Jose in the finals and beat them 2-1,” said Thunder coach Dave Shaffer. “But I think they thought they were going to cruise past us that day. They had beaten everyone else in the tournament very handily.

“I think it’ll be different this time. They’ll be ready this time. They have a lot of ODP State players on their roster.”

This is the first SRU girls team Shaffer has coached and he has taken them all the way to the State Cup finals.

Made up of high school freshmen and sophomores, Thunder has a balanced attack up front and in the middle with Haley Palmer (Windsor), Carli Johnson (Maria Carrillo), Yvonne Metz (Maria Carrillo) and Amanda LaCave (Windsor), who also happens to be an ODP Regional team player.

Julianne McFarlin (Santa Rosa High) is the center back and leader of the defense. The goalie is Rincon Valley Christian High’s Kateland Mendenhall.

Being his initial coaching effort with a girls team, does Shaffer find it any different than coaching boys’ teams?

“One of the other coaches told me going in that it really doesn’t matter because they are all just soccer players. But I have found that they are more focused overall than boys are,” Shaffer said.


(All games at Morgan Hill)

April 27: SRU Boca Juniors (U16 boys) – Won in PK’s vs. Manteca Rangers
April 27: SRU Fusion (U14 girls) – Lost vs. Almaden United
April 27: SRU Thunder (U15 girls) – Won, 3-1, vs. Pleasanton Rage
April 27: SRU Earthquakes (U17 girls) – Lost vs. Danville Mustang Mavericks
April 27: SRU Freeze (U18 girls) – Won, 6-0, vs. East Fresno Fusion

(All games at Morgan Hill)

May 3: 2 p.m. – SRU Thunder (U15 girls) vs. Foothill MVLA Avalanche.
May 4: 9 a.m. – SRU Boca Juniors (U16 boys) vs. Santa Clara Sporting.
May 4: 2 p.m. – SRU Freeze (U18 girls) vs. Danville Mustang Fury.

SRU Thunder State Cup results:

April 5: d. Mustang Boca Extrame, 5-0
April 5: d. ARYSL Folsom Breeze, 3-1
April 6: d. Petaluma SCA 93, 3-1
April 19: d. Placer Prestige Gold, 3-1
April 26: d. De Anza Force Black, 2-1
April 27: d. Pleasanton Rage, 3-1

SRU Thunder roster

00 Carrie Freyer MF Windsor High
1 Kaitlyn Mendenhall Goalie Rincon Valley Christian
2 Haley Palmer F Windsor High
4 Caina Field F
6 Kareli Rodriquez MF Montgomery High
7 Amy Mitchell Def Montgomery High
8 Carli Johnson MF Marillo Carillo High
9 Julianne McFarlin Def Santa Rosa High
10 Amanda LeCave MF Windsor High
12 Ashley Rios
14 Kendra Corsberg F Maria Carrillo High
17 Danielle Clark F Maria Carrilo High
18 Kathryn Ripple Def Montgomery High
21 Yvonne Metz F Maria Carrillo High
23 Camy Pearson F Montgomery High
24 Erin Fitchie Def Maria Carrillo
16 Lauren Bonitati

Head coach: Dave Shaffer