The Storm had an impressive roaster for the afternoon kick-off. Including legends, Brandi Chastain and Sissi Do Amor, as well as a mixture of national and collegiate players. In addition to the exciting line-up, the game was hosted at Sacramento’s professional soccer team, Republic FC’s home field. Making it the first time in the history of the stadium to host a women’s soccer game.
The perfectly maintained field allowed the Storm to play crisp and fast soccer in front of their biggest crowd in the history of the Storm. Despite controlling the majority of possession, the Storm were held off by the Primero De Mayo defense for the first 20 minutes of the game. But, Storms 23, Tais Cotta (Brazil) managed to open up the score line on the 22nd minute, blasting the ball past Primero’s goalkeeper, Katie Ladd, after Sherifatu Sumailia (Ghana), intercepted Ladds pass before finding Cotta’s feet to finish to play.
Visiting side, Primero, continued to defend against the technical Storm side. After many counter attackers were either saved or intercepted, Storms Jennifer Cudjoe (Ghana) took a long-range effort that found the top-right hand corner of the net. Her 30-yard screamer was rewarded with a loud applause from the entertained crowd.
As the whistle blew signaling for the end of the first half, the teams left the field with the Storm taking the lead, 2-0.
The teams returned for the second half with a powerful line up. The Storms midfield consisted of a tremendous trio, Brandi Chastain, Sissi and Mexican National player, Teresa Noyola. Playing mostly just two-touch soccer, the Storm controlled the game, constantly pressuring the visitors. After a neat play from the Storm, Sherifatu drilled the balled from a tight angle into the bottom left-hand corner on the 62nd minute making it 3-0 for the home team.
Just ten minutes later, Sherifatu assisted Teresa Noyola who had a brilliant game and showed her national ability throughout the 90 minutes.
Aleah Kelley, netted two one v ones for the Storm, she was composed and elegant in both situations, the second of which was scored in the final ten seconds of the game.
Although many chances fell to the feet of Brandi Chastain, who selflessly passed the ball to a Storm teammate who she found in a better scoring position, the crowd was delighted when she slotted the ball home on the 81st minute. The fans stood to their feet to applaud her while she celebrated with her team.
“We were very excited to be the preliminary game to Republic FC’s game. It was a great experience to have over 1000 fans supporting the Storm; they created an incredible atmosphere for both teams. I was especially impressed with the hard work and style of play from the Storm. Having Brandi and Sissi play together against made it an extra special experience for both the teams and the fans. “ Said Cal Storm Head Coach, Jerry Zanelli.
Next, the Storm host North Bay Wave FC on Saturday June 25, at 7:00pm KO at Elk Grove High School.