Coach Kevin Keck’s 96 Girls Red headed to Cincinnati, Ohio on the weekend of February 22-24 not sure what to expect. The Ohio Elite College Showcase is a turf-only event which adds several different dynamics to the game, one specifically being a faster moving ball. Fortunately for Keck’s team, recent practices on the turf at Grace Christian Academy and deft skill worked in their favor. The FC Alliance U17 team returned as division champions of the prestigious event after a perfect 3-0 weekend.
To claim the title, the 96 Girls Red knocked off two Ohio teams and one from Kentucky. The tournament opened with a tough match against Beechmont SC. The Ohio squad came out swinging, but there best punch wasn’t enough as FC Alliance snatched a 1-0 win. Courtney Dyer scored the lone goal off an assist from Charlotte Sauter.
"It took us a few minutes to adjust to the intensity of the game," Coach Keck said. "Once we got our rhythm, we began to control the match."
The second game was much easier: a 5-0 shellacking of Kings Soccer Academy of Kentucky. Kelsey Foster and Courtney Dyer each recorded a brace, and Melissa Garvey added one. All five goals were products of good team work, as they came off assists. Stephanie Hamm, Natalie Goetz, Alyssa Hale, Sauter and Dyer each dished one out.
"King seemed overwhelmed by our speed and ability to manipulate the ball," Keck stated. "We controlled it from the beginning."
The final game secured the crown for FC Alliance, a thrilling 3-2 win over Ohio’s Metro Caraggio Premier. It was a back and forth affair, as the lead was never greater than a goal. Courtney Dyer scored twice off a pair of assists from Katie Filipowicz. Cori Crocker scored another off a feed from Madison Lovelace.
With an average of three goals per game, much attention was turned to the attack. However, Coach Keck was quick to point out an outstanding defensive performance.
"Liz Denton and the defense came up big this weekend," he added. "They posted two shutouts in three games."