On Sunday, under an ominous sky and the threat of thunderstorms, the G96white team battled a tough TFA team from Cincinnati, Ohio to a 1-0 victory to claim the U14 Presidents Cup National Championship for United FC. A first for a girls team at UFC.
United had faced TFA on Saturday and had won 2-1. They knew that it would be a struggle to turn around and beat them twice in 24 hours, but the girls were up to the challenge. UFC, changed their formation from the previous day from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 in order to put more pressure on the opponents defense. This change worked and from the start United controlled the run of play, grabbing 12 shots in the first half and hitting the cross bar twice. However the Midwestern grit of Ohio held strong and the opponents endured the onslaught until about 2 minutes before halftime. United earned a free-kick just outside the 18 yard box on the right side. Once again, Mikayla Casey stepped up and hit a left footed free-kick to the far post. Danielle Tilton came flying in and headed the ball into the back of the net, to give the team a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
The team never looked back. For the second half we dropped back into a 4-4-2 to ensure that we had numbers behind the ball. Kate Sasser was a monster in the air, and controlled the midfield all day. UFC, had 6 good chances in the second half to seal the game, but the goalkeeper from TFA held strong. United's defenders, were consistent and handled anything that TFA threw their way preserving the shutout. UFC even endured a dangerous free-kick outside the 18 in the final seconds of injury time to seal the victory and the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
On a side note, the girls send a special thank you to the entire club for the support they received from its members and Board. I am especially proud that the girls represented UFC with style, class and sportsmanship on the national level. I thank the parents of this team for their unwavering support of their daughters, and Karl and Carol for their hard work over the years.
Job well done team.
Video highlights from the Presidents Cup Tournament can be viewed here