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Brandon Stirm leads group of VC Alum into finals at VC 6/10

The San Jose Firecrackers Saturday team plays in the men's adult league of CAA (Christian Athletics Assosciation).  The team consists of 6 Valley Christian Soccer alumni, including Brandon Stirm, Donny Dequine, Garret Ruiz, John Basanese, Jeremy Basanese, and Justin Basanese.  One more player, Antonio Favela, attended VC as a boy...and the VC Soccer photographer, John Basanese Sr. plays as well.

Saturday, June 10th would mark the first time since graduating that Stirm, Ruiz, Dequine, and Justin Basanese would play a competitive match on the VC soccer field.  With Ben Hansen randomly in attendance to watch, the game had a nice sentimental feel to it.

"Naturally, it was special for me.  I loved coaching these kids, and to remain friends with them after high school is a real blessing.  Then on top of that, I get to play with them...and even better on the field that I coached them on, it's really special for me," VC Coach John Basanese said after the game.

The opponent was OTH United, and the weather was perfect.  Incidentally, OTH had a few other VC soccer contributors.  Adam Gill (Jr. High AD, Girls JV Coach), and Dustin Watson (Jr. High Soccer coach) play.

The Firecrackers Saturday came out slow, but were still able to create chances.  However, it was OTH that would open the scoring.

Adam Gill nodded a ball past the onrushing Matt Favela (GK) and into the net, 1-0 OTH.

That would be the last sniff of the lead that the men in blue would have.  In the 24th minute, Justin Basanese played a perfect slot pass to Dequine who took an inside out shot with his right foot, beating the keeper. 1-1.   It would stay 1-1 until halftime.

The second half was all Firecrackers Saturday.  Brandon Stirm scored two goals, nearly identical from 24 yards out.  Each time, he brought the ball down, took a look at goal, and bent a screamer into the far post side netting.

"It's funny, those two goals Stirmy hit reminded me of the way Jeff Coggan shoots.  Both were amazing shots, and the goalie hardly moved on either," Basanese said.

Stirm finished off the scoring with his third of the game.  David Ahlgren played a nice 1-2 pass with Brandon who fired a left footed shot off the far post and into the net. 4-1.

While the whole team played well, it was a day for the VC alumni to shine, tallying all 4 goals.

It should be mentioned that the Firecrackers Saturday defense was strong with Tone, Ryan, Aram, Ruiz, and Matt Favela holding down the fort. 

Also, playing their best games of there year were Michael Gonzales (Gonzo), and Ralph Ahlgren.  Both players made several great passes, and had some near goals.

Next Saturday, the 17th, the Firecrackers Saturday will take on The Sting, who won their semi-final game 9-0 earlier in the day.  The last time the Sting and Firecrackers B met, the game was a tie 1-1.  This promises to be a great match, pitting many former stars from King's Academy against our 'Crackers.

The game will be at 3:50 PM at the Valley Christian Soccer field.  If you like the idea of seeing a collection of old VC talent play together again, come on out, it should be exciting!

If you're interested in playing Adult League Men's soccer with CAA, you can visit the website at www.playcaa.org, or email coach Basanese at John@vcsoccer.com.  The next season will start in September.