Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Soul taking on San Francisco Glens from Skyline College in San Bruno for the Western Conference Semifinals. It’s a critical rematch with some ruffled feathers due to the 12:30 p.m. start time, building towards a potentially spicy affair.
Soul just dispatched Glens 3-1 to earn the right for a rematch. San Francisco appeared to be the crème de la crème of the W League going into last Sunday’s game, so for Oakland, if you want to be the best–you have to beat them.
The question going into today’s match was how the starting lineup would play out for Soul due to the kickoff just past noon. My full reaction in the section below.
- No heads hanging for Oakland. This was a great season after closing third in the Western Conference. Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs, it’s easy to forget how quickly Oakland’s roster came together after Jessica Clinton’s hire in March. After Jessica’s hire, Oakland required less than two months to put to together a full roster and starting lineup. Glens, by comparison, already had its roster near finalization by the time Clinton’s hire was announced. Soul effectively mixed in a rotation of players all 13 games, giving many players their first taste of a professional level sports organization. It’s been a fast but helluva season, it was a lot of fun covering this team.
- Clinton has commented on players they’d like to have back. We’ll see just how many are back with the team in 2024. I’m hoping Miranda, Sam, Henar, and Brinkman all return as the vocal leaders going forward, same goes with youngsters Layla Armas and Jordan Geis. Of course, the older players have jobs and careers to manage, but they provide pillars of leadership as the organization transitions into the USL Super League by the Malibu Lot’s opening in 2025.
- San Francisco Glens came to play, just an absolutely outstanding performance by them and they deserve all the praise. Skyline College may be the most difficult place to play in the Bay Area, like Candlestick in the 80s, and Glens certainly understand how to put the field to their advantage. Their pressing style made things difficult for all 90 minutes and they knew to get feet on the ball in the early minutes to force turnovers deep in Soul’s end. They were clinical all day.
- Oakland Soul Starting 11
SOUL BRINGING A SQUAD. Sam Tran and Miranda Nild are up and ready for the postseason match as the two up top, thankfully. Mana Hayashi returns to the 10-role after her hat trick against San Francisco. Jaida Nyby on the left with Sarah Mirr on the right. Sydney Shepherd and Henar Urteaga are the CB rotation with Watanabe on the left and Aaliyah Schinaman on the right. Kaytlin Brinkman starts on the bench.
- SF Glens Starting 11
IT’S PLAYOFF SEASON! Both teams could walk out of this as the W League favorites to win it all. My task for anyone reading this is to come up with a suitable name for this Derby match.
I guess I’m fortunate to be working from home today, because it is bone-chilling cold out in San Bruno.
Huge wind blowing to the left side.
Glens shot on target – 3′
Easy save by Layla. Ball goes straight at her.
Glens pressure high and score – 4′
Giveaway in the back and ball falls to Gomes. She takes a shot and it takes a deflection and arcs in. Fighting from behind early.
Glens up 2-0 – 9′
More cleanup work in the box. A couple of blocked shots and it falls to Lageyre, puts it away. Oakland will have to limit things before getting the wind on the second half.
Glens shot on target forces a diving save and corner – 11′
SF bringing the heat in this first half, similar to the recent game against Cal Storm where they led 3-0 in the first half before it resulted in a 4-4 tie.
Glens corner goes out the back.
Layla tip over the bar – 15′
Another Glens corner.
Look for Sam Tran – 19′
Glens shot on target – 22′
Straight at Armas.
Glens’ Bhuta shot from range, very high – 22′
Failed Oakland buildup. Mirr tries to play Miranda in behind, goes to keeper – 26′
Glens corner – 30′
Glens free kick about 20 yards or so above the area – 33′
Bhuta ball in, sends it towards goal and its caught.
Soul pressing high but can’t break them down – 34′
Armas diving save forces a corner for Glens – 44′
Ball trickles around top of area until going out wide and out of the back.
Glens add a third on a laser by Gomes outside of the penalty area following a corner. That was quality. Soul needs to take advantage of the wind in the next half – 45+1′
Looking aggressive in the first minute – 46′
Glen’s add a fourth, play on counter and Piper rolls one in on the right side – 47′
Glens nearly add a fifth – 51′
It is allllllllll SF
Tran shot wide – 54′
First offensive activity on the day.
Armas big save – 58′
Could’ve been the fifth again, point blank shot.
Hayashi longshot on goal – 59′
Gomes shot on target saved – 60′
Soul corner, ball in fall to Sam, shot blocked out for another corner – 61′
Soul corner – 62′
Goes out the back.
Nild shot wide – 63′
Best chance for Oakland today. Counter attack.
Urteaga nearly scores – 67′
Forces a corner,
Tran shot hits the post! – 71′
Miranda play through the area to Sam, her shot hits the post.
Glens shot high – 78′
Gomes hat trick, header goal from a cross by Piper. It’s a blowout – 81′
Another stop by Armas – 87′
SOUL GOAL – 88′
Finally, play to Jordan Geis at the top of the area. Great finish by the teenager. Tran on the assist.