OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Breakers girls under 12 team won the Southern California All Star Recreational Championship, making them the first team in the Oceanside Breakers club to take home a state win.After winning consistently in the AAA Presidio Soccer League Championship, the team took a few weeks off in November 2011 and came back to play in a postseason tournament to prepare for the state cup.
“To play in the tournament and have one or two rough games early on helped us out,” head coach Miguel Barragan said. “By the last tournament game they were pretty sharp. By the time for the state cup they were ready to go.”
The team played solidly through cup playoffs. In the semi final match they gave up some goals, but came back strong and won the final game.
“They cruised through that one,” Barragan said.
Most players on the 15-girl team have been together for four years.
“They are friends off the field too,” Barragan said. ”That kind of chemistry helps them persevere.”
Team forward Aloni Seiler really helped the Oceanside Breakers score, Barragan said. She also served as a team captain and took on additional responsibilities and leadership on the field.
“She has really grown this last year,” Barragan said.
The soccer season lasts from August through November. During that time the Oceanside Breakers met up to practice about four hours a week.
There was also a lot of work that the girls did on their own time to build strength and endurance. Team members put in additional hours with private coaches, or played in the park and ran to stay sharp.
“Four hours a week is not that much for this level of soccer,” Barragan said. “The competition is very stiff. There is a lot of extra fitness and conditioning to prepare for the state cup.”
Despite the demands of competing at a state level, Barragan said fun was still incorporated into weekly practices.
“We turn practice actives into games,” Barragan said. “We do conditioning with timed runs. For strength exercises they carry each other in relay races.”
Game scrimmages were included in the practice sessions to ready the girls for their opponents and good nutrition and adequate sleep were encouraged. Assistant coach Lance Gill took the lead in making sure the girls followed nutritional guidelines and got to sleep on time during away games.
“Nutrition and rest are a big thing for athletes to deal with,” Barragan said.
Barragan has an extensive background in soccer. He was part of the Oceanside High School soccer team that took home the first CIF win. He went on to coach soccer and played for the semi-pro soccer team San Diego United.
This is the first year Barragan has coached this team of girls. Early in the season he challenged the team to win the state cup. He put one star above the shield on their jerseys to represent his state win. At the end of the season a second star was added for their state win.
Barragan said he plans to coach the team for two more years.
Next year the girls will move on to the Premier Division of the Presidio Soccer League and compete on a national level.
“It’s tougher, but the girls will be able to do just fine,” Barragan said.