The Milton U14 Girls Spring Soccer team competed in the 21st Annual Memorial Day Classic held in Amherst, N.H. last weekend with 257 other teams from all over New England.
The girls, coached by Shawntel Burke, finished third in their bracket overall after losing 1-0 in the semi-finals to Warwick U14 girls from Rhode Island.
The team began its weekend with a 2-0 win against Warwick WSA. The first goal came from Sydney Shappy, who placed a great ball in the left corner of the net off a penalty kick. The team’s second goal came from Carlie Reen on a breakaway down the middle of the field. The Warwick keeper was playing out of the net when Carlie took a beautifully-served ball from the midfield and placed a perfect lofted ball over the keeper’s head. Milton maintained possession for most of the game by keeping up the intensity and moving the ball.
“We controlled the middle of the field very well, moving the ball up the field nicely [and] allowing our team to use the space and capitalize on our second goal,” Burke said.
The girls second game against Hudson Heat ended in a 1-1 tie. Both clubs played the game defensively. Strong play from Taylor Quintin, Cassidy Button, Miranda McHugh, Emily Pallas and Kate Rowley was instrumentally key for the team. Amber German got the solo goal during this game with a powerful shot from outside the 18. Hudson Heat scored on a corner kick where the Milton team scrambled and couldn’t clear the ball quick enough.
On Sunday, Milton played a single game against Oyster River United from New Hampshire. The girls played a strong offensive game against the younger U14 girls team, winning 5-0. Many players contributed to goals and assists during this game which was nice to see everyone get involved on the field. Milton dominated a majority of this game, allowing only two shots on goal against keeper Lucy Vestrand, who played very composed soccer all weekend.
The win on Sunday put Milton in first place of its bracket, where the players would be facing Warwick Fire Fighters SC from Rhode Island, also first place in their bracket. Milton came out strong, utilizing speed and ball control to move the ball up and down the field. During the first half, Warwick took advantage of a few missed steps and placed a hard shot in the left corner of the net. Milton, down 1-0 early in the game, never let down with several opportunities during the remainder of the game, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. With time running out, everyone moved up to put pressure in the middle in hopes of tying the score. But the match ended 1-0, ending Milton’s surge to the finals.
Even with the loss in the semi-finals, the weekend was a huge success. The girls stepped up their game, played as a team and had fun! We look forward to next year.