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Storm finishes season Sunday with 5-0 win

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The California Storm of Sacramento ended their Women’s Premiere Soccer League regular season with a 5-0 win over visiting San Francisco Nighthawks on Saturday at Folsom High’s Prairie City Stadium. Former U.S. Women’s National Team player Aly Wagner returned from injury and contributed a goal in the 61st minute. All five goals were scored by separate players. The last time the Storm scored as many goals was June 5 in a 5-2 win over the Clovis Sidekicks. It was scoreless through the first 20 minutes, but the Storm was knocking on the door heavily. Shelby Payne (Stanford) opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Katie McCoy (Sac State) then edged the Nighthawks with a goal in the 32nd minute. The Storm continued to share in their final game as Katie Sturges (Northern Illinois) scored in the 52nd followed by a comeback effort from Wagner. Christina Quintero put through the final goal in the 73rd. The Storm went 2-1 in their final three home games in Folsom, but did not make the playoff cut with an overall record of 5-6-3. The West Coast Wildkatz earned the final third spot into the postseason. Head Coach Jerry Zanelli said the Storm had one of their lowest scoring season’s this year. Over 14 regular season games the Storm averaged just over 1.5 goals per game and were shut out in six games. “We never really developed our forwards like we should have, but we had a good defense and midfield. If anything was lacking it was definitely the scoring,” said Zanelli. “We had more zero games this year than I think in the history of the team. We’re usually in the top-five leading goal scorers, but this year our five top scorers left the team.” The top-10 leading goal scorers in the WPSL didn’t include a Storm player, let alone a player from the Pacific Division-North. Despite interest in possibly moving the Storm to the Bay Area, Zanelli said he plans to return the team to Folsom High next year. He said he hopes to increase participation and relationships with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and Folsom Youth Soccer Club. “Even though we didn’t have a winning season, I’m still really proud of this team and its development this season,” said Zanelli. “We have a lot of college or former college players who come out with different styles and have done a great job of taking on our own style.” Most of the team will return next season, which runs May to July, according to Zanelli. He expects less than a handful of changes to the roster. Zanelli is also making efforts to bring both a professional and amateur team to the Folsom and Sacramento area.