Mission Viejo's Team Fusion brought home the California State AYSO Extra Play GU14 Championship this past weekend in Cathedral City. Team Fusion, led by coaches Charles Shipp and Sina Nasiri, defeated Valencia United in the semi-final game, 2-1 and topped off their magical season with a 1 nil victory over Norco Corona to claim the title.
With just one loss during the regular season, Team Fusion still had to win a very difficult and competitive post-season tournament back in December for the opportunity to play for the state crown. Shipp and Nasiri attribute the team's success to a 'team mindset' throughout the season as "the girls are all very good players individually who really gel together as a team making us very tough to beat."
Nasiri added, "some of these girls have been together for several years and have seen plenty of ups and downs during that time. We've played up to older and better teams in previous seasons and some well played games turned into heart breaking losses, but the girls kept fighting on and gaining confidence." Shipp mentioned the addition of key newcomers this season: Allison 'Allie' Giles, Christina 'Bob' Kosmola, Khiara Bankston and Samantha 'Sammy' Moan were a major plus who really fit in well with team veterans Brianna 'Bri' Shipp, Sanaz 'Sunny' Nasiri, Delaney 'D' Shab, Jessica Himes, Amanda 'Mandy' Rojas, Emily 'Dru' Druckery, Kayla Tresser, Ciera 'Bear' Williams, Valentina 'Veloush' Green, Corissa 'Cori Boo Boo' Sellers and Renna Ming. Nasiri explained further, "plus, we worked on endurance exercises to keep the team strong and fresh near the end of games and that combined with our team depth, skilled players and two outstanding goalies made for a successful recipe this season."