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A girls’ youth soccer team from Temple City recently won the state championship in Bakersfield.
Known as the “Pink Mustaches,” the team – made up of girls ages 8, 9 and 10 – defeated a team from Visalia, 2-1, on penalty kicks for the championship.
Leilani Pasillas scored in the third quarter to tie the game at 1 and sent it into overtime. She also scored the winning goal in the 10th round of the shootout.
Also scoring in the shootout were Cynthia Dominguez, Amelia Rivas, Laila Williams, Angelique Bastien, Savanna Haggett and Cynthia Dominguez.
Freddy Rivas, coach of the team, said the girls just had a great season.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Rivas said. “I’m extremely proud, unbelievably proud. They had an amazing season. It was unexpected. ”
Rivas added he really didn’t see this coming.
“We went in wanting to create a positive experience for them,” he said. “We wanted to have them enjoy the season and play together. As the season went on they kept winning and winning and winning. Even when we were playing in the bigger tournaments I didn’t think we were going to have success, not because I didn’t think they were good, but because it was so competitive. They just kept winning, winning and winning.”
Rivas also said it was just nice to be able to represent Temple City.
“I’m so proud because the Temple City soccer community is so encouraging,” he said. “It’s friendly, loves children. To represent Temple City is just an honor and a joy. The Temple City soccer community has invested so much time into these children. They share in the success that we have.”
The Pink Mustaches moved on to the final by beating a team from Orange, 4-3, a day earlier. Pasillas scored three goals – including the game winner – while Dominguez connected for one.
The All-Star team for girls 8, 9 and 10 years old also went to Bakersfield. While losing the semifinal to South Gate, 6-1, the team beat Redondo Beach, 2-1, a day later in the consolation game with Samantha Wong and Pasillas scoring the goals.
With their appearances, Rivas said it’s the first time teams from Temple City have qualified for the California championship games.
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).
“T.C. Champs” Photo (All-Star Team)
Back Row (left to right)-Juliana Siekertzian, Alyssa Medina, Ella Ray, Leilani Pasillas, Samantha Wong.
Front Row (left to right)-Isabela Guerrero, Mikala Sanchez, Cynthia Dominguez, Amelia Rivas
-Photos and story by Shel Segal