Friday, July 22, 2022

Summer in soccer brings with it tourney time. Spokane Sounders sides kicked things off the past two weekends with quite a few teams participating in the Crossfire Challenge along with a solo participant, G2011 Valley Shale, winning the Cornucopia Cup. Many teams also did well on the west side at the Crossfire Challenge including finals appearances for both 2007 ECNL and GA sides.

Let’s start things off with the Cornucopia Cup champions. The first travel tournament for the G2007 Valley Shale girls proved to be a success. Nearly every player on the squad tallied on the weekend as they downed Blackhills 2-0, Cascade Premier 6-1 and host Valor 3-2 in group play. The final would go the distance 3-3 with Maci Falk serving in goal and scoring for their shootout victory against Blackhills in a rematch. In the match Ava Kinder scored twice with Miley Motz providing the other.

At Crossfire Challenge the G2007 GA ladies were the lone Spokane side to reach a Super Group Final. The ladies opened with a 6-2 win against Washington Premier in which Lauren Matthew struck for a hat-trick. Jennah Wanner then caught fire with two goals in the 3-0 FC Salmon Creek win and both in the 2-1 victory against PacNW ECNL to finish out the group perfect. Ashlyn Chase then tallied two as they topped GA rival Washington Timbers 4-0 with a shutout performance from Karlee Roderick. Centerbacks Sarah Gunn and Emma Mostek were also key defensively in the run to the final, where they fell to host Crossfire Premier.

It was a bit of heartbreak for their male counterparts. The B2007 ECNL side rolled through group play in impressive fashion with a 5-1 win against BVB to open things up and then topped PacNW 4-1 and Blackhills 2-0 to finish the group perfect. Leading the way offensively was Treffan McCord, with Ty Geffken and Sam Browne keeping things tidy in the back while Kai Longeknecker minded goal. A brilliant volley from Gavin Wunsch was the difference in a 1-0 semifinal decision against Seattle United that also included a penalty save by Longeknecker. They nearly came away with the title against United PDX, but saw the opposition pull even in the final two minutes and prevail in a shootout after the 1-1 draw.

Four other girls sides also reached semifinals in the two weekends of the Crossfire Challenge.

In a tight-knit first outing for G2004/05 GA, Faith Shawn provided the difference via Cami Hattenburg as the ladies downed FC Edmonds 1-0. They split points with Washington Premier in the second contest 1-1 before moving on to win the group with a 2-0 result against Mt Rainier in which Bre Koscielski tallied. Peyton Dixon recorded the two shutouts with defenders Abbie Sicilia, Tess Keyes, Ella Carnahan, Nora Watson and McKinley Ullman in front of her in the backline as they allowed just one goal in group play before falling to PacNW in the semifinal.

The G2006 RCL ladies cruised through group play with wins against NSC MT (2-0), Three Rivers (4-1) and WA Premier Navy (2-0). Ayanna Tobecks led the charge with two goals and three assists on the weekend with Ava Horton, Amelie Rey-Bear, Sydney McLean and Piper Antoniuk also getting in the mix. The team allowed just one goal before exiting in a semifinal shootout following a scoreless draw against Washington Premier White. Alexa Sheppard, Malea Fulton and Keely Franklin were key in defense with Izzy Morisette recording the three clean sheets.

Similarly, The G2008 RCL ladies swept through group play, kicking things off with a 3-1 win against Seattle United in which Lindsey Davis tallied twice. Aliyah Faridnia helped guide them to a 2-0 win against Mt Rainier in the second with a shutout performance in goal while Glenna Soliday was key in the third, tallying a hat-trick in a 4-2 contest against Washington Timbers. Shots off the woodwork, unfortunately, led to a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the semifinals to host Crossfire.

The young G2011 South Rave girls got off to a fast start as they downed Seattle United 6-0 with four goals in the opening 18 minutes and two-goal performances from Megan Mitchell and Jillian Jackson. Winnie Oliver and Stella Olson also chipped in while Ada Dempsey and Charli Trimble combined for the shutout. Olson and Mitchell provided goals in their 2-2 draw against Snohomish United. Olson kept the streak going with another tally against Capital FC in a 2-1 win decided on a nice goal from Jenna Lee, who beat three defenders before scoring. The semifinal was a hard-fought defensive showdown in which Dempsey was excellent in goal with Chloe Collins in front of her at centerback. Unfortunately, Le Jardin Academy (Hawaii) struck for the winner with about two minutes left as they went on to eventually win the tournament.

Also of note on the boys side, the B04/05 ECNL and B06 ECNL sides both went 2-1-0 in their groups, which featured three-way ties. Unfortunately neither advanced on tiebreakers. Adrian Ferasse (04/05) tallied a pair of goals in the event and Braylon Helm (06) scored four of his team’s six goals on the weekend. Also 2-1-0, the B09 ECNL boys were second in their group with Dixon Reed scoring two goals. The B08 ECNL side was unbeaten, but their 1-0-2 mark left them unfortunately second in group.


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