After attending a soccer camp on Whidbey Island in Washington, the Juneau Soccer Club U15 Girls, a combination of the 13 year old Avalanche team and the 14 year old Jags team, entered the Strawberry Cup Classic tournament in Marysville Washington. Since they mostly have only had practice games with older and younger boys and girls teams within the soccer club, they had no idea how they would fair when playing against girls their own age. Apparently all their hard work and practice paid off. They went undefeated and untied, scored 22 goals and only had 3 scored on them. They won the championship game by a score of 6-0 against a team they had previously beat in bracket play 4-1.
“They girls played awesome” said coach John Newell. “Everything that usually goes against us, went our way. The balls that usually bounce around then fall into our goal, fell into the other teams goal. Our shots that usually go high and wide, ripped the back of the net. We got goals from 10 different players while our keeper, Sarah Penrose, only allowed 3 goals in four games and made every save she could get her fingertips to. “ On top of that, the team found their rhythm with crisp passing and ball control. Combined with their fitness level, they made the other teams wilt in the 90 + degrees heat. We scored most of our goals in the final 10 minutes of each half because the other teams were worn out and our team was relentless.
“I couldn’t be more happy with how the girls played,” Said Coach Newell. “Everyone on the team played great no matter what lineup I had on the field.” “ I had quite a few girls playing in positions they were not use to and they still made it work.” We even got a couple of great goals from two of our defensive backs, Kallen Hoover and Abby DeRocher. We had them move up to give a couple of the other girls a break from the heat and it paid off with Kallen scoring a beautiful goal from 20 yards out that went over the keepers hands and dove down into the back of the net. Abby scored off a corner kick from Rylee Landon with a full volley that never touched the ground till it settled into the back of the goal. Abbys goal gave us a 1-0 lead going into half time which was huge. You could see the other teams shoulders and heads drop. I knew we had them then.
The championship game was played with temperatures in the mid 90s. The refs stopped play every 15 minutes for water breaks to help avoid heat exhaustion but our girls stayed hot. So hot that the final score was 6-0 with goals from Rylee Landon, Maddie McKeown, Hayley Germeau, Erika Holst, Meranda Frenzel and Kati Buchanan.
While a few of the girls will still be in middle school come fall, most of them will be freshmen, splitting their talent between TMHS and JDHS. And even though they are teammates in the soccer club, they are looking forward to playing against each other when the high school soccer season rolls around in the spring.