Local girls team reaches national finals
Marc Frye’s U-13 Classic Division 1 Energy girls soccer squad, out of the local FC 814 Soccer Club, made a huge mark as one of the best teams to come from our area when it recently won the Regional Presidents Cup Tournament in Barboursville, W.Va.
The Energy are only the third team in the history of the PA West Soccer Association to win the regional round. The girls faced competition from New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, a semifinal game against a PA East team and the Kearny Soccer Club out of Newark, N.J. in the final, which it won, 2-0.
The Energy went undefeated throughout the Presidents Cup, going 3-0-2. The Regional Cup featured competition from the best teams in Maine, New York, Pa., West Virginia, Virginia and the East Coast, with 12 states represented. They now will move to the National Presidents Cup Tournament play from Wednesday-Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.
In the national tournament, they will play one game against each of the other three national regions: Southeast, Central and Far West. Following that, the top seed will play the second-ranked team for the Presidents Cup National Championship and the other two teams will play in the consolation game.
Fry has coached the Energy since the girls were 9 years old, and they are comprised of all regional players, with 12 players from Altoona, two from Ebensburg, two from the Glendale area and two from DuBois. Frye said the girls dedicated themselves to improving and working harder this year following a season wiped out by COVID-19. Frye stated he also believes a big difference is the fact that the coaches stress proficiency in footwork on both the right and left sides, which is rare. Frye also stressed excellence in fundamentals has been a huge key to their overall success.
The team is working for local sponsorships to help underwrite the cost of the national championship tourney.
n One of the most popular tournaments with players has always been the 3-on-3 tournaments. They are a fast-paced shooting gallery. The Northern Blair Recreation Center is set to stage its first NBRC Summer Showdown 3v3 Soccer Tournament. The tournament is slated for July 31 and Aug. 1 in Tipton.
Under 11 and Under 13 Co-ed will take place July 31 with Junior High Boys and Girls, and Varsity Boys and Girls playing on Aug. 1. Entrance fee is $95 per team, with a maximum roster of five players.
The Tournament is sponsored by DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, and each player will receive a free All-Day Fun Pass to DelGrosso Park/Laguna Splash. Registration forms or more information can be received through Alex Bartlett at email@example.com. All rosters must be turned in no later than July 23.
n The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has finalized its roster and is set to begin round-robin play this month in the Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. group stage foes will include Sweden (July 21), New Zealand (July 24) and Australia (July 27).
Since the inception of women’s soccer into the Olympics in 1996, the U.S. has been the dominant force, winning four gold medals and one silver. This year’s team will try to be the first team to win the Olympic gold following a World Cup title.
Head coach Vlatico Andorovski is taking a very experienced team to Tokyo. Kristie Mewis is the only player on the roster who was not on the 2019 World Cup winning team. Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath will be making their fourth Olympic appearances. Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelly O’Hara, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe will be playing in their third Olympic Games.
Heath scored her second goal in as many games and the U.S. defeated Mexico, 4-0, on Monday in East Hartford, Conn., in the American women’s final match before the Olympics.
The U.S. women hope to redeem themselves from their worst showing ever in the 2016 Rio Games, where they were knocked out of play in just the quarterfinal round.
Tom Schmitt writes a monthly soccer column.