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2013 U-19 Girls Preview

Region I | Region II | Region III | Region IV

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Penn Strikers look to defend title


For many Under-18 teams, it’s not always certain that they’ll get back together for their Under-19 year since most players are headed into their college careers.
 
For defending US Youth Soccer National Champions FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E), there was never a question that the squad would come together to make one last run at the national title. The tight-knit group that has been together for seven years will look to defend its 2012 National title against three very familiar opponents in the Under-19 Girls age group July 23-28 at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kan.
 
Penn Strikers are a unique club that has just one team at a time, opposed to many clubs that have one or more teams at each age level. This squad is the third team at FC Pennsylvania since the club began in 1986, and the 2013 National Championships mark the end of a very successful run that’s allowed the players to bond together.
 
"It’s a very close group of girls. You can’t be together for seven years and not develop some sort of friendship," Penn Strikers coach David Shaw said. "I believe the girls like being together. They support each other. They play for each other."
 
In addition to their 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championship, Penn Strikers has won the Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup all seven years and the Region I Championships four times.
 
Shaw said playing at a high level results in developing a healthy and respectful relationship with the teams they play against, as it’s not unusual to see many of the same clubs through the years. That’s the case for this year’s U-19 Girls group. The other three Regional Champions — LSC EGA Bravo (NE), NASA 12 Elite II (GA) and So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) — have all played against Penn Strikers, as well as each other, several times in the past.
 
The four teams became very familiar with one another when they played in the same division during the 2010-11 US Youth Soccer National League season, and they all have National Championship experience, as well. This year will mark the second trip to Nationals for Bravo, while NASA and So Cal Blue are each making their third visit. Penn Strikers will be making their fourth appearance at the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
 
The resumes speak for themselves, but Shaw has seen first-hand how talented each team is.
 
"Our experience with them over the years is that they’re all great teams," Shaw said. "You’re going to have to not only be good to have success, but you have to be a little bit lucky, too. It’s not going to be easy for any of the teams, but it’s going to be fun because it’s the last chance for them to play together as a club team."

 


 PennStrikers

Region I: FC Penn Strikers (PA-E)

While each team has made it to Nationals, Penn Strikers are the only ones with a national title to their name — thanks to a 6-0 win in last year’s final. While the Pennsylvania side will look to repeat, the three other clubs are aiming to cap their youth careers with a prize that’s eluded them through the years.
 
Shaw knows it will be difficult to defend their title because each team will be giving its best effort in every game. The Penn Strikers coach said he’s excited to coach one more time with this group of girls that have been the lone representatives at the club for the last seven years. Taking home the title would make it just a little sweeter.
 
"You always want to try to win and to end on a high note," Shaw said. "But, to me, also just being together and having the opportunity to represent your region and your state again is already a high note. You’re just looking for icing on the cake at this point."
 
How they got to Nationals
FC Penn Strikers won its seventh Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup in seven years to advance to this years Region I Championships. Penn Strikers scored 14 goals and allowed zero through group play going 3-0-0 to advance to the semifinals. In the seminfinals Penn Strikers defeated FC Stars of Mass (MA) 2-1 to set up a final against Buffalo Invaders (NY-W), a rematch of the 2012 final. Last year's game took overtime, but this year Penn Strikers took a 1-0 victory in regulation to secure its third Region I Championship title in a row. Penn Strikers will now look to defend its 2012 National Championship title.
 

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Region Champs: 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013

National Champions: 2012

Key Players

At last years National Championships Penn Strikers had four top 10 scorers: Top scorer Daija Griffin (4), and then teammates Cassandra Pecht (3), Cheyenne Spade (2) and Stevi Parker (1) were also in the top 10. 

College Programs

Emily  Armstrong Connecticut
Lauren  Bernard Boston College
Gabriella  Carbone La Salle
Trisha  Clark Elizabethtown College
Julia  DiGiacomo Mount St. Mary's
Gina  DiTaranto Delaware
Mary Margaret  Edwards Delaware
Brendi  Ernst Temple
Christina  Estermera Rutgers
Daija  Griffin South Carolina
Kelly  Kerrigan. James Madison
Katelyn  Kraft Ohio
Emily  Market Delaware
Jillian  McVicker Ohio
Erin  Mikolai Pennsylvania
Madeline  Parker South Carolina
Stevi  Parker Delaware
Shannon  Senour Temple
Cheyenne  Spade. Tennessee
Emma  Starr George Mason
Taylor  Trusky Temple

 

Coach Info

David Shaw

Founded FC Pennsylvania in 1997


Under-19 Girls, FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E)

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LSC EGA
 
 
After a third-place finish at the 2008 National Championships as an Under-14 squad, LSC EGA Bravo (NE) is excited and focused for this year’s opportunity to return to Nationals. Much of the squad has been playing together since the players were 9 years old, and head coach Marcus Kelcher said they’re looking forward to making one more run at the title.
 
With a year of college development in the books for many of the players, Kelcher said it will be exciting to see the growth of each opponent since last season. He said Bravo is very familiar with the opposition it will face in Overland Park, and the team is looking forward to the challenge of making a run for the championship.
 
"Winning a National Championship with this team at U-19 would be a dream come true for the players and staff," Kelcher said. "This is one of the most special group of kids I have ever worked with, and they are without question deserving of the opportunity to take home the title in 2013."
 
How they got to Nationals
LSC EGA Bravo advanced to the Region II Championships as the winners of the Nebraska State Cup. At Region II Bravo went 2-0-1 scoring 10 goals and allowing only one to advance to the semifinals. Bravo snuck past NSA Inferno (IL) 1-0 in the semifinals and then secured a 4-3 victory over Kolping Kicks SC Schmitt (MO) to secure its place in the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships.
 

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2013

Region Champs: 2013

College Programs

Ava  Ambrose Miami (FL)
Elizabeth   Bartels Marquette
Madeline  Elliston Penn State
Alyssa  Flannery Nebraska
Caroline  Flynn Nebraska
Corinne  Harris Michigan
Jill  Kieffer Northwest Missouri State
Alissa  Kohmetscher Creighton 
Jennifer  Korn Northwestern
Alexandria  Massey Auburn
Mia  McAleer Iowa State
Karlie  Mueller Texas A&M
Paige  Nielsen North Carolina
Emily  Nulty Northern Illinois
Jaylyn  Odermann Nebraska
Marquette  Pick Iowa State
Chelsi  Rohloff Nebraska - Omaha
Taylor  Saucier Texas A&M
Erin  Stewart Missouri State
Jackie  Tondl Texas A&M
Hannah  Wampler Nebraska - Omaha
 

Coach Info

Marcus Kelcher

RII_U19G LSC EGA Bravo (NE)

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NASA
 
  
Another team that’s been together for more than eight years, NASA 12 Elite II (GA) is making its third trip to the National Championships. After coming up short as U-17 and U-16 teams, NASA head coach Dave Smith said the team feels like it has some unfinished business.
 
NASA is coming off a dramatic Region III Championship, which required a penalty kick shootout in the final to earn a place in Overland Park. With their spot at Nationals secured, the NASA players are now aiming to finish with the trophy in their hands.
 
"They want that National Championship, and they realize that this is their last run at it together," Smith said. "Winning the U-19 title would be the perfect way for this group to end their youth careers together."
 
How they got to Nationals
NASA 12 Elite II won the Georgia State Cup to earn its way into the Region III Championships. NASA finished Regional group play with two wins and a tie against TBU Premier Girls 93 (FL). In the final match, the tie between NASA and TBU would be broken as NASA notched a 2-1 win to secure its way back to the National Championships.
 

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2008, 2010, 2013

Region Champs: 2013

National Championships: 2010 - Finished fourth place

National League:

College Programs
 
Kailey  Bryan Mercer
Payton  Donley Troy
Michel  Fernandez Marquette
Elizabeth  Johnson Kennesaw State
Hannah  Lones Kennesaw State
Abby  Lutzenkirchen Alabama
Julia  Nelson Kennesaw State
Kelsey  Nix Georgia
Brittney  Reed Kennesaw State
Alyse  Scott Auburn
Avery  Sechrest Georgia
Cara  Smith Georgia
Emily  Sonnett Virginia
Emma  Sonnett Georgia
Samantha  Thomas Georgia State
Bria  Washington Georgia
Caroline Waters Georgia

 

Coach Info

Dave Smith

 

13_R3_U19G_NASA 12 Elite II

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socalblues
 

 

This year will mark the third journey to Nationals for So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S), and just like Bravo and NASA, So Cal Blues will be looking for its first US Youth Soccer National Championship.
 
This is the second consecutive year that a team from Southern California Blues SC will compete for the Ross Stewart Cup, the trophy awarded to the U-19 Girls champion. In 2012, So Cal Blues Dodge came up just short of making the championship game when it lost 2-1 in its final pool play contest.
 
This year, So Cal Blues has another talented squad looking to finish its youth career on top. Kodi Lavrusky, who plays at UCLA, netted both goals in So Cal Blues’ Regional final and is just one of many players on the squad that are members of some of the top collegiate soccer programs in the nation. The California squad will hope the players’ experience against some of the top college competition will translate to a U-19 title in Overland Park.
 
"It is a last hurrah for the girls, bidding farewell to youth soccer with a year of collegiate soccer under their belts," head coach Dido Tshimanga said. "There is a a bit of nostalgia, really. This team is a representation of Cal South with a Washington twist, thus making it a Region IV team, which we hope to represent successfully."
 
How they got to Nationals
A finals victory in the California South State Cup qualified So Cal Blues Dido for the Region IV Championships. So Cal Blues would finish group play undefeated with three wins and a 1-1 tie with Express (HI). In the final match So Cal Blues would break the tie with Express winning 2-0 to earn its way back to the National Championships after missing last year.
 

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2013

Region Champs: 2011, 2013

National Championships: 2011 - Sixth place

College Programs

Mackenzie  Akins Montana
Taylor  Alderete UCLA
Aubrey  Baker Maryland
Jocelyn  Blankenship Loyola Marymount
Mikhaila  Bowden Boise State
Janae  Cousineau Texas A&M
Megan  Crosson Santa Clara
Ashley   Doyle Santa Clara
Elliott  Gentile California
Madison  Heilmann Loyola Marymount
Madison  Krauser Colorado
Kodi  Lavrusky UCLA
Amber  Munerlyn North Carolina
Kelsey  Nicassio Boise State
Virginia N  Reeves Colorado
Victoria  Russo UC Irvine
Danielle  Spriggs Rice
Jennifer  Stanley Indiana
Jessica  White Michigan State
Naomi Willett Notre Dame

 

Coach Info

Dido Tshimanga

 

RIV_13_U19G_So_Cal_Blues_Dido_(CA-S)

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