The third time wasn't a charm for Juneau Soccer Club's Quicksilver girls U14 team at the Schwan's USA Cup in Blaine, Minn., as the Quicksilver lost Saturday's championship game of the girls 14U C' Division Trophy Flight 3-2 in a double-overtime shootout to the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Hollandia Tigers.
It was the third time in three days the Quicksilver had to go into an overtime shootout in the playoff bracket, but the first time Juneau lost on the extra penalty kicks. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie in regulation, with Hollandia taking a 1-0 lead in the game's first five minutes and Juneau's Marita Rodriguez tying the score in the seventh minute of the second half. The teams played two five-minute overtime periods, with the score staying 1-1.
The overtime shootout went through its first round of five shooters from each team with a 3-3 tie as Theresa Badilla, Jordon Cottingham and Lindsey Heumann connecting for Juneau. The shootout then reverted to a sudden-death format, with teams alternating penalty kicks, and Hollandia claimed the title on its seventh penalty kick.
Team leader Leslie Houston said she and coach Doug Badilla were "simply awed by the power and team play of the Juneau Quicksilver. It's awesome what these girls have done. A team from Juneau just took second place in the second largest international youth soccer tournament in the world. It was a team of 16 girls that took us there, no superstars. All 16 players played with heart and passion. They won as a team."
In the round-robin portion of the USA Cup, Juneau Quicksilver posted a 1-2-0 record as it sent its share of players to the 800-team tournament's infirmary. Juneau claimed a 4-0 victory over the Maplebrook Blast of Minneapolis, then lost 3-1 to the Rocky Mountain All-Stars of Colorado and fell 2-0 to Centennial No Fear of Minneapolis.
In the victory over the Blast, Juneau goalkeeper Jordon Cottingham was kicked hard in the head and had to be rushed to the infirmary. Cottingham, who suffered a head laceration in a collision during the All-American Girls pre-tournament event, was allowed to continue playing but not allowed back in goal because of her two head injuries. She did play keeper during Juneau's three overtime shootouts. Jessy Post, Rochele Rodman, Gretchen Dierking and Rodriguez scored Juneau's four goals in the game.
During the next game, against the All-Stars, back-up goalkeeper Dani Barr had to go to the infirmary after she suffered a severe nose bleed when she took a shot in the face late in the game. That meant Juneau was down to its third keeper, Post, for the end of the game. In the loss to No Fear, temperatures approached 100 degrees with high humidity and Juneau had five players need treatment for heat exhaustion.
The Quicksilver was seeded third in its bracket entering the playoff round, which was played under red flag conditions because of the heat. In red flag conditions, each half was shortened by five minutes, with a mid-half water break, and tie games went straight to shootouts without any overtime periods.
Juneau opened the playoffs Thursday with a 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Croix Fuego of Minnesota, with Erin Cottingham scoring Juneau's lone goal in regulation. The score was tied after the first round of the shootout, but Juneau won in the next round as seventh kicker Erin Thompson scored the winning goal.
In the next playoff round on Friday afternoon, Juneau claimed another 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Louis Park Power of Minnesota. Kokii Steckoll scored Juneau's lone goal in regulation, and Juneau's seventh kicker Thompson again scored the game-winning goal of the shootout. In Friday night's semifinal game, Juneau edged the Mahtomedi Scream of Minnesota 1-0 in regulation time with Rodman scoring the game's only goal.
One other Juneau team was at the tournament, the U13 boys Juneau Orcas, but it was eliminated early. The Orcas posted a 1-1-1 record in round-robin pool-play, then lost its playoff opener 2-0 to the NSSA Storm of Minnesota to be eliminated. In round-robin pool-play, Juneau tied the TRSA Thundering Herd of Minnesota 2-2, lost a 1-0 decision to the Mahtomedi Lightning of Minnesota and beat TST of Denmark 2-1. No individual scoring highlights were available for the Juneau Orcas.