Posted On June 10, 2011 by PUSC
The Placer United U16 Girls Elite team recently returned from their first event of the new season. The girls traveled to Park City, Utah to play in the inaugural Utah Avalanche Invitational Tournament/College Showcase Event. It was truly a great and very new experience for the players as 67 College Coaches had preregistered to attend this event. The players and families worked very hard pre-tournament on the development and expansion of college lists as well as putting together invitation letters to coaches. At U16, the girls have new audiences and need to be prepared for additional company on the sideline over and above family members.
Park City, Utah is located in a beautiful setting as the city hosted many of the 2002 Winter Olympic events. The Placer United U16 team settled in nicely winning their first game 4-3, coming on furiously after being down 2-0 at the half. Game two again saw Placer rise to the altitude heights and drop a 2-0 defeat on the Montana ODP (all-star) team. Game three unfortunately saw Placer come up short, losing 2-0 in a very grinding battle for the bracket top spot.
After some tie-breaking deliberation, Placer was awarded the wild-card nod and stepped into the semi-final game versus the host, Utah Avalanche Premier ’96 team. The game offered a big-time “punch and counter-punch” battle! Placer twice came back from being down on the scoreboard, by scoring on two separate set-pieces. As well, not to be overlooked, Placer played the greater portion of the 2nd half down a player and just battering the Avalanche team and their goal area. The equalizing free-kick was scored with less than a minute on the clock and the two teams were headed into OT.
Utah was able to capitalize in the first OT half, following up and putting in a rebound of a shot and initial save. The game ended with a 3-2 Placer defeat, however it also saw the players really step-up.
Overall the weekend results saw Placer scoring 8 goals in 4 games, with 4 of those goals coming on either a corner-kick or set-piece. They also posted one shutout. I am very proud of the girls, not only for coming back in game one but for really rising and meeting the match challenge in the semi’s. At an altitude of approximately 6500’ and working a player down, many of the girls were “just gassed physically” and they just kept “getting after it” all the way to the end. In the 2nd half, they 100% outplayed Utah in their own elements!
I’m very proud of my players. They represented themselves, their families and Placer United very well. At the end of the day, if the players take the time to invite college coaches to attend, then showing off yourself and team with positive representation of your Club are huge….Great job! I also want to get out a huge thanks to Jill Kitchen, Mike Dewyea, Toby Faingold, Mark and Jeannie Mabry for all of your help. This was a nice event with excellent facilities. It could be great for additional Placer teams in the future, especially if the college coaches catch-on and attend.