In what was easily the Azzuri's most challenging non-tournament road trip in its history, the Ladies in Blue lost two NorCal Premier League Spring 2009 tilts to very worthy opponents this weekend.
Traveling first to Santa Rosa (5/30) and then down to Petaluma (5/31) to face two of NorCal's toughest teams, the Azzuri battled hard at times but were outplayed by two top flight clubs. Santa Rosa United (SRU), currently ranked no. 11 in NorCal, and a semi-finalist in this year's NorCal State Championship tourney, used size, speed, and tremendous passing skills to take down the Azzuri 5-0. The Azzuri came out sluggish and caught some bad breaks early, finding themselves down 4-0 at the half---their worst half of the weekend and probably of the year. The Azzuri made some adjustments in the second half and mounted a few threats, but the SRU attacks continued and they netted the final goal of the match.
Sunday morning brought the Sonoma County Alliance (SCA), currently ranked no. 6 in NorCal, and a finalist in this year's State Championship tourney (losing to Mustang Mavericks). Azzuri started strong and played SCA even for most of the first half----it looked like it was heading to halftime as a scoreless contest. Then, SCA capitalized late on one of the best goals we've seen this year---a corner piece directly headed in to give SCA a 1-0 lead into the half. The second half saw the Azzuri unable to mount many chances, and the SCA attacks continued, leading to two more goals (another off a corner piece), thus finishing off the Ladies in Blue 3-0.
All in all, depite the one really unfortunate half of football (0-4 vs. SRU), the Azzuri otherwise played three pretty good halfs of football (0-1, 0-1, and 0-2) vs. two top NorCal teams (in fact, both SCA and SRU are currently in the top 85 nationally).
As usual, the Azzuri enjoyed the "between-road-game-festivities" at the Sheraton Petaluma and had a good time on the weekend while also getting a good first hand look at the most stellar of competition in their own backyards. Thanks go out to all the guests who joined the Azzuri family this weekend.
The Azzuri fell to 1-4-2 in NorCal Premier League Spring action!