HEART WIN FOURTH PAGS CHAMPIONSHIP IN FIVE YEARS



November 20, 2007 - The Under 13A Heart capped their fall season by capturing the PAGS premier division championship for U-13 girls. This marks the fourth top division championship for the Heart in its five year career, running its five-year record in league play and playoffs to 38-5-8. The Heart also captured this yearís Hershey Premier Labor Day tournament championship, and was a semi-finalist in the WAGS Under 13 tournament where it went undefeated in group play before losing a tightly contested semi-final match against a talented North Carolina squad that ultimately won the flight championship.

The kickoff to the season was a team outing to see the U.S. menís under-20 national team and the U.S. womenís national team in international friendly matches at the Meadowlands. The team was the guest of USSF President Sunil Gulati for a trip down to the field during the womenís team warm-ups and to the locker room runways for autographs and cell phone pictures with national team players including Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Kristine Lilly and Heather Mitts. While the Heart got to see the U.S. claim two wins that day, the Heartís own campaign got off to a rough start with two consecutive losses. After turning the corner with its first win in the teamís third game, the team offense began to click with two or three goals in each of its remaining league games as the team showed good improvement in attacking with numbers as a team. The teamís defense improved, culminating in four shutouts and only one goal against in its last five games. Improved discipline and communication made it a very rare sight by the end of the season to ever find an opposing player with the ball behind the last line of defense.

The playoffs began with a game against a powerful Baltimore Bays team. The Heart drew first blood on a goal from the teamís leading scorer Salina Williford, but Baltimore responded with a goal of their own mid-way through the second half. The tension of a golden goal overtime ended in less than two minutes when Julianna Bradley found the goal in a wild scrum in front of Baltimoreís net. With a semi-final victory against the Maryland state champion behind them, the final game brought on the Delaware state champion, Hockessin Spirit, who had gone through the regular season without a loss. Williford again got the Heart on the score board first with a shot from the right side that found side netting. The defending was relentless and preserved the 1-0 shutout.

In a season that was marked by improving team play on offense and defense, congratulations are well deserved for great play up front from Julianna Bradley, Carly Ichniowski, Samara Kitnick, Nanci Selig, and Salina Williford; in the midfield from Caleigh Foust, Moira Petrie, Martha Zeller and Mary Zeller; and in the back, keeping the team in every match, Elaine Byerley, Kiersten Daly, Sophie Katz, and Paige Phillips and keepers Sydney Frank and Alex Srolis. While the wins and championships always came on Saturdays and Sundays, it was the hard work on the days in between that made the successful results possible.


Web Page Designed And Maintained By: Biff Sturla