Post-tournament "Good Stuff" awards

Reflections after decompressing from a marathon soccer Saturday. Here are the SoccerBlogs “Good Stuff” awards:

– There are plenty of scenes the will stick for a long time. One of the best: Kate Bayes’ free kick shot floats in over the St. Vincent’s goalie’s head and Sonoma Academy wins the girls Class A title in double overtime. Coyotes’ coach Chris Ziemer heads off in a dead sprint up the sidelines to the corner flag. Much faster than he has run in years, no doubt. But where was he going? There was no one there. Had he not stopped he would have wound up alone in the SRJC parking lot.

He did manage to turn and join his team in a jumping celebration near midfield. The enjoyable part was knowing, despite all the successes Ziemer has had as a player and coach at the club and high school level, he can still get this excited. Good stuff…

– Great soccer? Let’s be honest, none of the six teams participating on Saturday can say they played their best game of the year. And, yes, that includes the three winners. Probably nerves, probably playing in front of a huge crowd with the spotlight on them. But they all played hard, they played fair and they played with class. Good stuff…

– The goalies stole the show. All of them played well, but three stood out. Mae Mcalveavy (Sonoma Academy), Ashley Luis (Casa Grande) and Chris Hernandez (Windsor).

My, oh, my.

All three played spectacular soccer. They were quick, skilled, athletic, read the game well and were leaders on the field.

Two walked away as champs (Mcalveavy and Luis) and one (Hernandez) deserved a better fate after pushing undefeated champion Maria Carrillo to the brink.

Lauding their play is the good news, here’s the better news – all three are juniors and will be back next season. Good stuff…

– The crowds that showed up. Still don’t know the official attendance, but it started at about 800 for the first game and grew during the course of the evening and was just about SRO by the time the Class 3A boys game started at 8:15. And despite the one female wannabe streaker late in the finale, the crowd was well-behaved and the Windsor drum corps added a lot to the soccer atmosphere. We’ll address that soccer interest in the Empire in another blog item coming soon, but in the meantime … Good stuff…

– P.S. If you were there you were watching it all at Ernie Nevers Field on the campus of Santa Rosa High. Do you know much about Mr. Nevers? Oh, you will in a feature story coming soon in The Press Democrat. Trust me, it will be …. Good stuff…

– Officiating was solid except for the one foul on the St. Vincent goalie in the opener. It was a rather marginal call, albeit correct, to call a foul on her and issue the subsequent red card that forced her out of the game and ultimately cost SV the game, at least in part. In a game like this one you don’t make that call unless it is much, much more blatant than that. But overall, for the officials, …. Good stuff…

– From this perspective, the boys player of the year was solidified Saturday evening. Girls, not so much. That one is still up in the air. But for the boy player (and you can guess as to who that is), we can only say … Good stuff…

– Best quote of the evening came from Windsor head coach Tomas Acuna: “They (Maria Carrillo) deserve to be champions, and we deserve to be here.” To anyone who doubted the Jags and the SCL, shame on you … very, very … Good stuff…

– Finally, and we’ll see if we can get a photo for you, Carrillo’s winning coach and undoubtedly soon-to-be named Coach of the Year, Mike Mastin, vowed he would shave his beard on Sunday morning. If, indeed, he did, and that scraggly mess is gone we can only say… Good stuff…