Prior to the start of the 2017 Cal South State Cup Governors Division Championship, UIFC Laguna FC Coach Ricardo Gonzalez told his team to have fun during the tournament, to go out on the field and do what they love most – play soccer.

Once the tournament kicked off, the boys did just that. And they excelled in every match they played, most importantly in the final championship match against Barca Cantera. The match was not for the faint-hearted, with every goal scored from both ends bringing more and more excitement and anxiety to each coach.

After 60 minutes of play, and the additional 20 minutes of extra time, UIFC Laguna FC would come away with a 5-3 win and the championship trophy.

“Both teams gave their all until the last minute and we all suffered. We had to go to extra time and the game was really open for either one,” coach Gonzalez said.

“[This championship] means a lot of things, there’s a lot of mixed feelings, a lot of excitement. It symbolizes a year of work, two to three days a week, this is the result,” he added.

The year has proved to be well worth for the champion team, but this year’s payout has come with years of work together, with Coach Gonzalez and eight of his players working to get to where they are today since they were three-years-old.

“It’s a huge pride for me to get to where we are, against a rival like we had,” the UIFC Laguna coach said. “I have nothing but gratitude to everyone who helped get us here today.

“[My players] love soccer, they dream of soccer, they live for soccer. I’m just the one that brings them out here, but they give it all on the field. The emotions that they transmit on the field is what fills me, it excites me,” Gonzalez finalized.