Friday, April 18
PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIF – The Pali Blues have won four straight games, beating UCLA 1-0 on Wednesday, April 16 in front of about 750 onlookers. It was the first home game of their five game preseason series. The Blues decided to play this match in order to raise money for the Painted Turtle, presenting the organization with a $10,000 check during halftime.
“As always, the bright spot were our backs,” said Pali Blues Head Coach Charlie Naimo. “They were fantastic. With that said, to UCLA’s credit, we were very average this game and learned some potential weaknesses.”
“This is what the preseason is all about, but as a staff there is some disappointment,” added Naimo. "UCLA played high pressure, and we did a poor job of breaking it and slowing things down. Conversely, we felt we could have also discouraged pressure by playing big early on occasion. We did neither. We lived in the middle all night."
The Blues had a few chances during the first half, including a free kick from Danesha Adams that the UCLA keeper, Ashley Thompson, struggled to save. The team did not break through until the 49th minute of play as Rosie Tantillo finally beat the UCLA keeper. Tantillo has scored five goals during this preseason campaign.
There were some close calls near the end of the second half. Midfielder Leah Tapscott had a great shot that just hit the crossbar in the 79th minute. The following minute, Tantillo tested the keeper again, who scrambled to save the ball right on the goal line.
The Blues play their final preseason game this Saturday, April 19, at Loyola Marymount University at 11 AM.
Pali Blues Add National Team Defender Amy LePeilbet
The Pali Blues Soccer Club increased their U.S. Women’s National Team experience today when they made official the addition of defender Amy LePeilbet. The former Arizona State Sun Devil joins the Blues amid preparation for their inaugural season in the USL W-League.
“It has been an absolute pleasure having Amy with our group, and her signing is one of our biggest,” Blues head coach Charlie Naimo stated. “She is flat out one of the best defenders I have ever seen, and her consistency is unmatched.”
LePeilbet made her first appearance with the full national team in 2004 at the Four Nations Tournament in China. She earned his first start on February 3, 2004 in a 2-0 victory over Canada. She also played a critical role in the defensive backfield for the U.S. U-21 National Team that won the Nordic Cup in 2002 and 2003.
“Amy is a great compliment to the strong core of defenders we already have on the team,” he said. “The staff is very confident in our defensive possibilities.”
While attending Arizona State University, the three-time All-Pac-10 selection did not miss a single start in four years, playing in 74 career games. She led the Sun Devils into the second round of the NCAA tournament as a senior and was named a NSCAA Second Team All-American. After acquiring her degree in Sociology, she began her W-League career with the Arizona Heatwave in 2005.
The Blues will play the first game of their inaugural USL W-League regular season on the road against the Ventura County Fusion on Saturday, May 10. The following weekend, the Blues will play their inaugural home contest at the “Stadium by the Sea” when they host the Los Angeles Legends on Saturday, May 17. Tickets for home match ups are only $10 for adults ($8 with student ID) and $5 for kids under the age of 12.
Stay tuned to the team website at www.bluessoccerclub.com for all updates regarding the Blues.