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GU10 'Lightning Bolts' are Best in the West

Mar 29, 2017 09:14AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The GU10 Lightning Bolts, Left to Right: Kneeling: Lindsey Severin, Naomi Steiner, Ryann Raguse, Audrey Henry Standing: Malin Kirkbride, Analise Ornstein, Harper Buttles, Team Captain Meg Baxter, Team Captain Ella Digilio, Madison Norberg, Riley Marsh Back: Assistant Coach Kevin Baxter, Coach Kim Digilio

A local girls' 10-and-under Fall AYSO team has just finished up a triumphant seven-month season, after being named "Best in the West" at the Western States Championships this past weekend in Carson City, Nevada.

On Saturday, the "Lightning Bolts" defeated Fillmore 3-1 in the morning semi-final game and went on to dominate La Mesa (San Diego) 6-0 in the championship match.

The Western States Championships represents 250,000 AYSO players and approximately 3,200 teams in this age group from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and California.
The Region 18 (Manhattan and Hermosa Beach) GU10 AYSO team's season began in September with an undefeated 11-0-1 finish in regular league play.

The Lightning Bolts earned 2nd place in the Region 18 Championships in December 2016 and advanced to a first place finish in Area 1D Championships in January, followed by a first place finish at the Section 1 Championships in Riverside in February.  That sectionals championship, against fellow Manhattan Beach team Neon Green Extreme, earned the Lightning Bolts a ticket to Carson City to compete against three other teams for the right to call themselves “The Best of the West.”

Over the course of 30 games played from September through March, the Lightning Bolts demonstrated an impressive offensive and defensive showing, with 111 Goals For and only 16 Goals Allowed during their entire season.

Head Coach Kim Digilio is just one of 3 women head coaches in this Gu10 Fall season.
Digilio said that she and Assistant Coach Kevin Baxter embrace a positive coaching philosophy while also staying competitive. 

"We believe in teaching the girls a love of the game," said Digilio. "Every single player participated in, contributed to, and earned this championship, having saved their best performance of the season for the biggest game of their young lives."

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