Week Ten : All in favor

They’re not national champions. The U18 side lost in the national semifinals; just the second time ever (and first since 2008) that a Pink Ladies team has reached that stage. It was truly a team effort, with players of all ages, positions and levels raising their play …

Captain Katie Schmidt, still sorta-kinda held together with duct tape and rubber cement, busting her butt all over the pitch and opening the team’s first match with an early goal. Captain Haley in her first appearance at nationals, leading with voice, spirit and effort throughout. Captain Rabies, changing positions for the semifinal and again showing why she is the best teammate a player could ever have.

Michelle Materna, sassing her way to a pair of assists and a goal on the weekend, pure class and quality on the pitch. Molly Adams, becoming the team’s Yas, playing more minutes in three games than any Pink player ever. Steph Kelley, stepping into a clutch role with a great effort in her first time at nationals.

Nicole Cerulli, bravely keeping a clean sheet at the national championships, only the second time a Pink keeper has ever done so. Lauren Rayson, demonstrating the goalkeeping grace and effort that make her truly Pink to the core. Nicole Souza, locking up the opposing team’s best attacker in two straight games (two opposing stars: 1 goal, 1 assist) while playing major minutes.

Pink seniors 2013

But the player of the tournament was she who barely played in Kansas last year, and was slated for a limited role behind one or two captains at the pivo position this year. Senior Player of the Week Lisa Lee was the team’s most effective pivo in the first match for her patient hold-up play, but it was just a little off. Focused and ready for game two, she was a dominant force setting the stage for her ala teammates especially young ones Adams and Materna, the latter who finished at segundo pau to give the team a 1-0 lead over Winter FC late in the physical first half. In the second half of the tooth-and-neck contest Lee scored the Goal of the Week at the second stick from Adams with just under five minutes to play to secure the Match of the Week victory.

While the big kids were gallivanting in the Midwest, the junior teams were displaying some great futsal back home. A total of 33 goals were scored across the four games, but it was a player who did not score who earned highest plaudits from Coach Brenda, who managed each match.

Jadyn Foot shone on the futsal pitch this week, adding a plethora of fancy moves to her experience. Even though the U11 team went scoreless, Jadyn’s constant effort and hustle threatened the opposing team and kept the game close in a 1-0 game. She led the whole team to try more moves and keep trying.¬†By pulling off¬†matadors, pull-backs, and v-behinds galore, Ms. Foot deserves her title as this week’s Junior Player of the Week.

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