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Local AYSO team advances to finals

Canyon Country U-12 team to play for state championship

Posted: March 9, 2009 1:28 a.m.
Updated: March 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The Canyon Country U-12 girls soccer team became the first team at any level in the city's history to advance to the AYSO state finals by winning the 32 team, section 10 tournament in Bakersfield on Feb. 28 and March 1.

The Highlighters earned the right to head to Davis with three other regional representatives for the final four on March 28.

"It has been a real rollercoaster ride for us," said Canyon Country head coach Henry Moore. "We originally planned to play until the regular season ended in November, but we've kept winning so the rollercoaster hasn't stopped yet."

Canyon Country won five games in two days at the section 10 tourney, including a pair of shutouts in its final two matches to earn the berth in the state finals.

Forward Brooke Moore has led the scoring attack for the Highlighters all season, while Bianca Tinoco anchored the midfield and Allison Swales keyed the defensive charge.

Taylor O'Connell has also been a star in goal, and the Highlighters, named for their neon green jerseys, have not lost a game in regulation play.

"I'm just in awe of how this whole team has played," Moore said. "Our goal when the season started was just to make the playoffs, so to make it as far as we have is amazing."

Moore has been especially impressed by his team's growth.

"All season we've huddled up at halftime, and I've given the girls a speech to help them keep going," Moore said. "When we got to that last game I told the team I had nothing left to say because they were playing so well."

The one-day state tournament will conclude the Highlighters' historic season.

"We know it is going to be a challenge to go to Davis," Moore said. "But whatever happens, it has been an incredible run."


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