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California Storm earn 5-2 win over Clovis

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The California Storm improved to 2-1-1 after a 5-2 win over the Clovis Sidekicks on Sunday night at Folsom’s Prairie City Stadium. The Storm, formerly known as the Sacramento Storm, play in the North Division of the Pacific Conference in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. Manager Jerry Zanelli and the Storm lead the league’s 65 teams with three championship titles in 1999, 2002 and 2004 and was a national quarterfinalist last year. The 2011 Storm roster has 23 women from all over California. Players range from former or current California university players to Sisleide “Sissi” do Amor, a former player on Brazil’s national football team and the Storm’s team captain. Sisleide and the Storm are one of six WPSL teams in the Pacific Conference, North Division. Maureen Whitney, assistant coach at Sacramento State, is a five-time all-star as captain of the Storm. She has eight years experience as an assistant coach and won the WPSL MVP award in 2005. Next year the Storm will join Women’s Professional Soccer and the top tier of women’s professional soccer in the United States. This year the Storm is hoping for a return to form and a return to the top of the national stage. About 100 fans attended Sunday’s game. Included were two girls’ youth soccer teams from Roseville and Fair Oaks. In their first of five final home games at Prairie City Stadium, the Storm showed their dominance early and scored on a penalty kick in the fourth minute. The Storm added three more in the first half and went to halftime up 4-0. Zanelli said his team has played at Natomas High School in years past, but made the decision to make Prairie City Stadium their home field. “The weather has been against us lately, but we want to continue to bring out some fans for these games,” said Zanelli. “I think people think twice about coming out with weather like this, but we expect this to be another successful and fun season with a lot of really talented players. “We added a larger group of college players this year. We have a real collection of players from all over the place." Some colleges represented by Storm players are UC Berkeley, Stanford, the University of the Pacific, St. Mary’s College, Sacramento State and Fresno State. The Storm’s next home game at Prairie City Stadium is at 7 p.m. on June 25 against the Bay Area Breeze. For more information visit Californiastorm.net