Contributed by: Frederick Shaibani
The annual USAFL Western Regionals tournament was held this past weekend at the David Legacy Soccer Park outside Sacramento, California. It was a day of intense heat (105 F/41 C), but it was great to see some high quality footy being played in the state capital.
With eight men’s teams and four women’s teams, there was plenty of talent and experience on display. The men’s division one side was made up of the Seattle Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Dragons, the Golden Gate Roos and the San Diego Lions (who combined with several Arizona Hawks players). The day started with the Dragons taking on the Grizzlies, securing a 26-point win in the process; concurrently, Golden Gate defeated San Diego by a nine goal margin. As the temperatures climbed throughout the afternoon, the Dragons took home another scalp, beating the Lions and securing a spot in the grand final.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were looking to play spoiler against the Roos, but the boys from San Francisco were not having it, winning by 40 points to earn a grand final berth themselves.
The D1 grand final featured two familiar foes, as Golden Gate had defeated LA in last year’s Nationals. Coming into the final match of the day, both teams were ready for a dogfight. The Dragons made it a competitive contest through the first half, but a big third quarter from the Roos lifted them to a 35-point victory.
The men’s division two games consisted of the hosts, the Sacramento Suns, as well as the Orange County Bombers, Arizona Outlaws and Portland Steelheads (combined with Arizona Hawks). Portland narrowly defeated Sacramento in the first D2 match of the day, while the Bombers took home a low-scoring two-goal win over the Outlaws, a young squad that also featured several players traveling from Las Vegas. The hosting Suns would rebound after a nice victory over Arizona, while Portland defeated OC in the second game for both teams.
In the women’s competition, the four competing teams included the Sacramento Lady Suns, the San Francisco Iron Maidens, the Seattle Grizzlies and the Portland Sockeyes. The first match of the day was a Northern California clash between the Lady Suns and the Maidens, with the latter ultimately taking home the win, 5.0.30 to 2.1.13. Concurrently, the Sockeyes -- who also featured four of the LA Dragons women -- got off to a nice start, holding Seattle to only two behinds in a defense-oriented game.
At 1 pm, the Maidens posted a double-digit triumph over Seattle and gained some much-needed confidence heading into the final match of the day. However, the Sockeyes’ quiet dominance continued as they beat Sacramento by 17 points to set up a San Francisco/Portland grand final. With some of the most athletic and experienced ladies in the competition, the Maidens looked ready to make a statement against the Sockeyes, but in the end it was Portland who walked away with the upset, beating San Fran by a score of 2.1.13 to 1.4.10.
Men’s division 1 champs: Golden Gate Roos
Men’s division 2 champs: Portland Steelheads/Arizona Hawks
Women’s champs: Portland Sockeyes
Men’s D1 best and fairest: Ben Dowdell, Golden Gate Roos
Men’s D2 best and fairest: Saleh Tyebjee, Sacramento Suns
Women’s best and fairest: April Lewis, Seattle Grizzlies
Men’s D1 MVP: Julian de Vizio, Los Angeles Dragons
Men’s D2 MVP: William Mounce, Orange County Bombers
Women’s MVP: Lucy Parrington, Portland Sockeyes
Los Angeles 8.4.52, Seattle 4.2.26
Golden Gate 9.7.61, San Diego 0.3.3
Los Angeles 9.6.60, San Diego 1.1.7
Golden Gate 8.11.59, Seattle 3.1.19
San Diego 6.3.39, Seattle 3.2.20
Golden Gate 8.5.53, Los Angeles 3.0.18
Portland 4.6.30, Sacramento 3.3.21
Orange County 4.2.24, Arizona 2.2.12
Sacramento 6.6.42, Arizona 4.2.26
Portland 5.10.40, Orange County 3.1.19
Portland 3.4.22, Seattle 0.2.2
San Francisco 5.0.30, Sacramento 2.1.13
San Francisco 5.3.33, Seattle 1.3.9
Portland 5.6.36, Sacramento 3.1.19
Sacramento 1.1.7, Seattle 0.3.3
Portland 2.1.13, San Francisco 1.4.10
World Footy News