SR United soccer team claims state title

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Fourth time’s a charm for Santa Rosa United Celtic.

The U-12 boys club team is state champion after a run of finishes including seventh, fourth and second in the last three years.

“These boys went on quite a roll,” said coach Justin Selander, who played his prep soccer at Cardinal Newman before suiting up for UCLA.

Celtic topped San Francisco Evolution 3-2 in the tournament’s final game in Modesto on Sunday.

Right forward Matteo Seliga netted a goal on his first touch of the game to put Celtic up 1-0. The score was 1-1 at the half before Diego Picano got the first of his two goals on the day off of a cross from Zander Crawford.

Up 2-1, goalkeeper Carlos “Josmar” Leon stopped a penalty. When the referee ruled he moved too soon, he stopped the second attempt.

Selander credited his defensive line, including Isaac Torres and Derek Uemura with stellar play.

The tournament started in September, with teams whittled down through a series of games and group play. In all, there were approximately 160 teams in the U-12 division in California.

“It was a big one,” Selander said. “It’s incredibly difficult to win State Cup these days.”

“The momentum we had was unstoppable,” he said.

You can reach Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter
@benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.