The Juneau Soccer Club Girl’s U15 Surge won the Silver Division of the Nike Mt. Hood Challenge for their age group recently in Oregon while the JSC Boy’s U15 Chaos were winless in their tournament outing at the same venue.
“I can’t tell you how proud of these girls I am,” JSC Surge coach John Newell said. “They put in a lot of work to get to this point. This was a lot of early morning practices, late night practices and practices in the cold pouring down rain. Not very many practices on warm sunny days this summer.”
The NMHC is the premier soccer tournament in the Northwest and one of the largest in the country. Teams are divided by age group and skill level and placed in divisions from Premier down through Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The Surge scored the most goals in their girls U15 Silver division.
The gold, or premier division is for select teams and top national club teams that draw tryouts of over 100 players and will cut the majority of them. These elite clubs practice five or six days a week. Teams in the lower 48 are rated based on how they do in leagues and tournaments they play in.
“Since we don’t play in a league or enter many tournaments we usually don’t get placed in the gold division,” Newell said. “I think if we had we would have been competitive but probably would not have won the gold division.”
The Surge opened bracket play with a 3-0 win over Seattle United getting two goals from Cierra McCain and one from Malia Miller. In game two against Mercer Island FC the goals came from Nikki Boxx and McCain and the Surge won 2-0 and finished as the first place seed in their bracket.
The Surge then played a semifinal game later that day against a Washington’s SCFC Nemesis, a showcase team from Vancouver that plays in two leagues and travels to six different tournaments throughout the year. Defense from Meghan Penrose, Kalianna Lewis, Starr Barger, Kaylah Duncan, Mirla Gamez, Anna Rivest and goalkeeper Hailley Jones Surge easily won 4-0 with McCain and Miller netting two goals each.
In the championship against Spokane FC the game was even until a minute remained in the first half and Miller was fouled 20 yards out from goal. Spokane set up a wall of defenders on the penalty kick by Miller put a bending over the wall and into the upper left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
With Rivest and Gamez leading the defense, Surge held the ball on Spokane’s half of the field and put constant pressure on their goal. With 10 minutes left in the game Leila Robinson slotted a ball in front of goal past three defenders and McCain flicked the ball past the keeper for a 2-0 advantage.
Spokane scored with four minutes to play off a direct kick that went just over the keeper’s hands but the Juneau defense held firm, clearing every ball that came their way to take the title.
The Surge included defender Star Barger, midfielder and forward Nikki Box, midfielder Raye Coffee, defender and midfielder Kaylah Duncan, goal keeper Hailley Jones, goal keeper and forward Briannah Letter, defender Kalianna Lewis-Smith, midfielder Leila Lombardo Robinson, midfielder Jessica Mayer, forward Cierra McCain, midfielder Malia Miller, defender Mirla Moctezuma-Gamez, defender Meghan Penrose, forward and defender Anna Rivest, midfielder Marlena Romanoff, and midfielder Azure Wilson Briggs. Assistant coach was Kris Coffee and manager was Tamiko Duncan.
The Juneau Soccer Club U15 Boys Team Chaos battled hard against quality opponents in the Gold/Silver Division at last weekend’s Mt. Hood Challenge in Portland, Oregon. Team Chaos was able to play five games in four days in warm weather.
Team Chaos lost to 5-0 to Pacific FC B99 Dynamos Orange, lost 9-1 to Washington’s Timbers FC B99 Green, lost 2-1 to WA Timbers FC B99 Forest, and lost 5-2 to Blackhills FC B99 Black. The Team Chaos roster was not available by press time.
“I think it was a really good experience for the boys to get to play against some really good high caliber teams,” Chaos coach Ben White said. “They were in a gold and silver bracket and that had some really strong teams. It was a good experience for them. The biggest thing they took away from this was just spending more time playing with the ball and getting more comfortable with with it. They got together just before the tournament so it was just spending more time together as a team.”
Team Chaos included Ben Campbell, Tim McKenna, Henry Cheng, Phillip Escorrido, Lars Peterson, Ezra Geselle, Brysen Mitchell, Mitchell McDonald, Eli Gregory, Jackson Norberg, Michael White, Michael Alon, Finn Yerkes, Tulio Fontanella and Philip Huntley.
“It was a great experience and the boys had a good time and learned more about the game,” White said.