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Friday, January 20, 2017

Cal Cup Finals Weekend Preview

We've partnered with the Cal Cup to bring coverage of this year's tournament.

OMBAC vs. Life West (Championship Match, 3:00 p.m., Treasure Island)

After a short season of twists and turns OMBAC and Life West will duke it out for the inaugural Cal Cup title. Both teams have been excellent on the year, each suffering at least one loss, but each also dominating opponents. Now, each will have to dig deep if they want to come away with the trophy.

OMBAC have had the league's most powerful attack this year. With players like Kalei Konrad, Tai Tuisamoa, Tim Stanfill, Todd Clever, and Zach Pangelinan, all of whom are available and will start on Saturday, they have scored a league leading 231 points. Life West are the next closest team with 164 points. Even better for OMBAC, their offense has come alive in the last few week in particular thanks to Pangelinan who had a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes against the Old Aztecs last week. Defensively OMBAC have also let in the second lowest amount of points for a point differential of 118. Only Belmont Shore, who played one less match, let in less points. That combination has OMBAC as a lot of folks pick to win this weekend.

Take the jump to read more.

Life West have been underdogs before. They took the step up to elite club competition for the Cal Cup and no one was quite sure how they were going to do. They had success at all other levels and have risen from a DIII club is just a short period of time. However, it was thought that they wouldn't be able to get past SFGG and OMBAC for a spot in the final. They proved all of the people that thought that way wrong with a stellar season. Straight from the start they saw good things happened and they racked up a lot of points. Their only blemish was a loss to OMBAC in week four. Their defense was the issue but if they can hold OMBAC then they have a good shot at winning.

SFGG vs. Belmont Shore (3rd/4th Place Match, 1:00 p.m., Treasure Island)

SFGG have to be massively disappointed not to make the final at their home grounds. Golden Gate simply ran out of time this year as they have dealt with injuries. They only got Volney Rouse back last week and have been missing some key players. They still have a very potent offense but haven't been able to put teams away like they used to. Defensively they also gave away an uncharacteristic amount of points. This week should be better. Not only is Rouse back again but Lemoto Filkitonga is going to add some punch to the line-up as well.

Belmont Shore come into the match having seen their match against Olympic Club rained out. They were in contention for a top two spot before their narrow two point loss to SFGG in week four. In that match Belmont Shore were able to assert themselves at times and will hoping to do that again this week. Belmont Shore gave up the lowest amount of points in the competition but did have one less match. That defense could propel to success this week.

Old Aztecs vs. Olympic Club (5th/6th Place Match, 11:00 a.m., Treasure Island)

Neither the Old Aztecs nor Olympic Club wanted to find themselves playing in the 5th/6th place match but you can be sure that both are going to go full out to win it. The Old Aztecs, like Life West, had their first season at this level and generally they did well. They only lost to Life West by two points and they had other closer results. Defensively is where the team had trouble. They gave up the most points in the competition. However, their best defensively outing came back in week four when they held Olympic Club to just 23 points. If they keep that up they might get their second win of the year.

Olympic Club unfortunately haven't been able to put together the season they wanted. International absences took their toll in keeping Alec Gletzer off the pitch. They also missed Colin Hawley for the entire season. All together it did help their offense get getting and they easily scored the fewest points in the league. Defensively they were decent but if you don't score you can't win.

All three matches will be at Treasure Island in San Francisco. 

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