Gonzaga does a double

Men’s and women’s teams take home the Calcetto cup

Sam Griswold
October 30, 2008

It was a fine week for the Gonzaga University Bulldogs as they beat California State University 2-1 on Wednesday to win the Fiorenza International School Calcetto Cup before a dedicated group of supporting students from both schools.


The final match was an intense, lively encounter between the two best teams of the tournament. Adding to the intensity, a die-hard group of fans put on their best Curva Fiesole impersonation, chanting in support of their teams. Cal State had the bulk of possession and the better of play for much of the match, yet it did seem to struggle with attempts to break the hard-working, well-organized Gonzaga squad.


Gonzaga's strong effort paid off late in the game, as they took the lead late in the first half, and doubled their advantage in the second with both goals coming from well-worked set-ups and precise finishing. Still, the Bulldogs were forced to defend for much of the match. They managed to keep their opponents at bay thanks to a determined performance from Ryan Schademan and brilliant goal-tending by Kenny Mauro.


The magnificent duo's combined efforts stifled Cal State talisman and tournament top scorer Juan Carlos Guerrero, who applauded his opponents' successful efforts at the end of the match. Guerrero managed to find some solace with a late goal in the second, cutting the deficit to one and being named the tournament's most valuable player. After the match, both teams were cheered off the field. Later that evening, they came together to celebrate the tournament at an awards ceremony held at the Lion's Fountain Pub.


The men's team must have been riding the same wave of success as the women's squad, which a day earlier won the first-ever women's tournament, clinching an impressive double victory for the Bulldogs. The women's team defeated California State University and celebrated their teammate Kelsey Peterson, who was named most valuable player.


The tournament, which runs two and a half weeks and is now in its seventh edition, has become immensely popular among students. It has also helped to bring together students from nine different American universities with campuses in Florence.


The Cup is organized primarily by the Lion's Fountain Pub and takes place at the Campi Via dei Giusti. This year, the atmosphere was both fun and competitive with players, fans and coaches passionately representing their schools as they became more familiar with an integral part of Italian culture: il calcio.


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