Mountain View Los Altos Lightning Crowned Youth Soccer National Champion

Northern California Under-14 Girls Soccer Team Prevails in Penalty Kicks to Secure National Title 

Los Altos, Calif. – The Mountain View Los Altos (MVLA) Lightning won the 2010 US Youth Soccer under 14 girls National Championship on Saturday, July 24th at the Overland Park Soccer Complex, in Overland Park, Kansas. Lightning began its quest for the national title in August of 2009 by winning numerous regional competitions, including the Far West Regional Championships in June 2010, attended by state champions from the 14 Western U.S states.

The four regional champions competed in round robin group play, from July 21-23.  The top two teams then faced one another, with Lightning taking home the national title and etching its name onto the coveted Elmer Ehlers Cup.

For the championship game, the setting could not have been more dramatic as thunder and lightning rolled through Overland Park, Kans., delaying the start of the game by almost two hours. Lightning and the Dallas Sting 96 (South Regional Champion) teams entered the match after facing each other during group play, where Sting handed Lightning its first loss since the Cal-North State Cup finals.

Both teams had their scoring opportunities during the match, but the match remained scoreless through regulation (70 minutes) and two overtime periods (20 minutes). The championship came down to penalty kicks. With lightning flashing in the distance, Lightning’s keeper stopped the first shot by Sting and all five of Lightning's shooters converted their kicks. Lightning prevailed 5-3 in the penalty shoot out.

In the 75-year history of the USYS National Championships, only one other MVLA team has won a national title, the under-19 boys’ MVLA Shooting Stars in 1993.

Coach Erin Montoya was ecstatic about the victory, stating, “This was a great win not only for Lightning but for our MVLA club as it is the first girls national championship in club history. Sting is a well-coached team and had a terrific tournament. The championship game was an amazing atmosphere with our fellow Cal-North supporters cheering us on and pumping up the girls."

Montoya further expressed, “My team was outstanding all week and I'm very proud of all 17 players who contributed to our success, not only here in Kansas but for the entire championship series. Lightning's depth is what I feel contributed most to our success this season. They all worked extremely hard and should be excited about their accomplishments.”

Lightning’s road to the championship began over 12 months ago, playing in the highly competitive Far West Regional League (Champion), Cal-North State Cup (Finalist), Far West Regional Championships (Champion). They faced some of the top talent in the country, with a combined record in those events of 22-2-1 and scoring a total of 65 goals while allowing only seven.

Questions: Contact Erin Montoya, +1 (408) 420-1490,


National Championship Game and Award Winner Details

Group Play:
Day 1: MVLA Lightning (CAL-N) 1, Michigan Hawks Black (MI) 0
Day 2: Sting 96 (N. TX) 1, MVLA Lightning (CAL-N) 0
Day 3: MVLA Lightning (CAL-N) 4, SA of Columbia United Premier (MD) 0

Championship Game: MVLA Lightning (CAL-N) 0, Sting 96 (N. TX) 0 OT, PKs 5-3
Adidas Golden Ball: Gabriella Kaplan, MVLA Lightning
Adidas Golden Glove: Jacquelyn Caginia, MVLA Lightning

2009-2010 Championship Play — Win-Loss-Tie (Goals Scored / Goals Allowed):

2009 Far West Regional League: 7-0-1 (20/3)
2010 Cal-North State Cup: 6-1-0 (22/2)
2010 Far West Regional Championships: 6-0-0 (17/1)
2010 US Youth Soccer Nationals: 3-1-0 (6/1)

2009-2010 U14 Season

Season Totals: 50-4-3 (148/13)
About MVLA Lightning - The MVLA Lightning U14 ('95/'96) girls team is a competitive, Class 1 CYSA soccer team based in Los Altos, California. The team is ranked No. 1 in the United States by all three ranking systems: National Soccer Ranking (, Got Soccer (, and Top Drawer Soccer (

Team (alphabetically by last name, listing city of residence and high school): Mimi Akaogi (Cupertino, Monta Vista HS), Jaye Boissiere (Los Altos Hills, Menlo School), Jacquelyn Caginia (Los Altos, St. Francis HS), Paige Crowley (Cupertino, St. Francis HS), Melissa Fulton (Mountain View, St. Francis HS), Julia Goupil (Los Altos, Los Altos HS), Jessica Jochheim (San Jose, Pioneer HS), Celeste Kaashoek (San Jose, Leland HS), Gabriella Kaplan (Emerald Hills, Castilleja School), Caroline Olivero (Los Altos, St. Francis HS), Gabrielle Matulich (Los Gatos, Mitty HS), Hannah Reed (Santa Clara, Mitty HS), Isela Rivera (Manteca, St. Mary’s HS, Stockton), Sarah Robinson (Los Altos Hills, Gunn HS), Natasha Wein (Palo Alto, Palo Alto HS), Caitlyn Wong (Sunnyvale, Homestead HS), Melissa Wood (Belmont, Carlmont HS).  Joining team for U15 Season - Fatmata Kamara (San Jose, Branham HS)

About the MVLA Lightning Coaches – Head Coach, Erin Montoya, also coaches the Los Altos High School Varsity Girls Soccer team (2007 CCS Champions) and also the MVLA Avalanche (U17G - 2007 & 2008 USYSA State Cup Champions).  Prior to that Erin was a standout player at Santa Clara University and a former professional player (WUSA) with both the San Diego Spirit and San Jose Cyberrays. Albertin Montoya, currently the Head Coach of the Bay Area Professional Women’s soccer team is an integral part of our program. Albertin was a college Hermann Trophy finalist at Santa Clara University, part of the Men's Olympic team and a first round draft pick by the San Jose Clash. Albertin was also the coach of the three-time State Cup Champions MVLA Mercury. Albertin was a member of the U19 MVLA Shooting Stars that won the USYS National Championship. Nancy Ikeda, assistant coach and mother of Sarah Robinson, is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast. Nancy has enjoyed volunteering as the Lightning assistant coach for the past 7 seasons.

About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series – The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships.

About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer): US Youth Soccer - "The Game for ALL Kids!®" is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit