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Storm Elk Grove continues undefeated season

Lately, there has been much talk about bringing a Major League Soccer team to the Sacramento area. Sacramento took a step closer toward that goal when the city was awarded a United Soccer Leagues Pro team (a lower division of MLS) that will begin its inaugural season in the spring of 2014.

Meanwhile, Elk Grove has a minor league women’s soccer team that has, until now, compiled successful games into an undefeated season in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. Their success, however, has mostly gone unnoticed in the Sacramento area.

Elk Grove Storm Silver takes a free kick

The Storm Elk Grove, coached by Jerry Zanelli, won their seventh game of the season, giving them first place in the Pacific Northern California WPSL Division.

Zanelli was assisted by internationally known Brazilian football superstar Sissi (Sisleide do Amor Lima). The Storm Elk Grove defeated conference rivals the West Coast Wildkatz, 2-0.

Elk Grove Storm Silver threatens to score

This year, the California Storm was able to field two teams, and found new venues for the Storm Elk Grove and the Storm Sacramento.

The Storm Elk Grove plays their home games at Cosumnes Oaks High School. On Sunday night, June 30, the Storm Elk Grove scored a goal in the first half and one in the second half, thrilling fans who came to support their team.

Wildkatz goalie making a save

An own goal at the 34th minute by the Wildkatz was credited to the Storm’s Rachael Ritchey. Both teams played an exciting game, but the Storm controlled the game at key points, giving them their seventh win of the season.

Zanelli has coached the Storm for over 20 years, is part owner of the franchise and also serves as WPSL commissioner. The WPSL has over 75 teams throughout the United States, and members play during the summer months. Teams are made up of college, post-college, foreign-born, high school and amateur players, who gain valuable experience to take back to their schools and soccer clubs.

Non stop soccer action
Non stop soccer action
Non stop soccer action

Zanelli shared strategy with Sissi throughout the game, as the Brazilian superstar sat next to the head coach.

Competition between the teams was fierce, but good sportsmanship dictated the flow of the game. Solid play by the Storm continued throughout the game, and it wasn’t until Celeste Boureille’s goal near the end of the second half that they managed to secure the win.
A small crowd supported the team on that hot evening, but the crowd gave the team enthusiastic support.

Darkness at Cosumnes Oaks High School

Scoreboard shows what would be the final score with 11:21 remaining in the game

The Storm Elk Grove will try to extend their undefeated season as they travel for their next three games ending their regular season on July 14.

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

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