The MSC Coyotes Green (MD) entered today’s game against Ambassadors FC (OH-N) at the bottom of the Under-14 Girls division and needing a win along with some help in order to qualify for the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships finals at Manchester Meadows, in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Coyotes did their part with a 3-0 victory over the Ambassadors, who only needed to tie in order to advance to the finals, and got what they needed in a Beach FC (CA-S), TNFC Azzurri (TN) tie to punch their ticket to the finals. The Coyotes will take on TNFC, who defeated the Coyotes 2-0, yesterday.
"It has been an interesting road over the last couple of days. We knew we had to win and maybe score a couple of goals to advance," Coyotes head coach Alex Gould said. "For us, getting the first goal was huge since it was a first in a bunch of games. We were pumped up."
Julia Abbott started things off for the Coyotes by finishing a far post cross from Annika Jansa in the 11th minute. Abbott’s goal marked the first time the Coyotes scored since the 2012 Region I Championships. Ambassadors’ best opportunity of the first half came when Jessica Hegedus received a pass from Molli Dunnat the top of the box and fired a shot that was saved by the Coyotes’ keeper.
The Coyotes picked up where they left off in the second half, controlling the possession and flow of the game. In the 55th minute, the Coyotes scored after a corner kick went into the box, bounced between players and Clare Severe finished it off. Paula Germino-Watnick ended the scoring in the final minutes of the game after Ambassadors’ keeper couldn’t handle her shot, and the ball trickled in.
"Our girls played so well in the first two games. The pressure was on us today, and the Coyotes came out hungry, composed and came out with an immense amount of intensity," Ambassadors head coach, Kent Manson said. "It is tough to not to be in the finals, but third place in the country is great. More importantly it is a great experience. The National Championships is a good venue and the standard of play is ultimately what we are here for."
The Coyotes and TNFC will meet tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. on field six. Both teams will be looking for their first National Championship, and the opportunity to hoist the Elmer Ehlers Cup.
"After being at the luncheon and watching those videos, the girls were psyched," Gould said. "It hit them that this is where we were, and that we could win this thing. They are very confident and excited about the match tomorrow."