FC Wisconsin sent teams at the U11, U12, U14 and U15 age groups to the Wisconsin Dells in the last weekend of April for the Rush Wisconsin Spring Classic Tournament - and it was a banner weekend of performances at every age. The weekend started off with a dusting of snow and a cool temperatures, but the things warmed up on Sunday with multiple winners and evidence of significant growth and improvement at all ages.
U14 Regional Competitive
The U14 Regional Competitive team started the weekend with a 1-0 loss after conceding a goal in the last few minutes of the second half. After reflecting on their team performance and the adjustments they needed to make before game two, the team came out motivated and ready to compete. After taking an early lead, the opposing team scored two quick goals early in the second half forcing a change from the U14s. More determined to break the final line, center midfielders Katie McNamara, Taylor Holbrook, and Chloe Adalin combined to find a few early balls in behind to outside midfielders Ashley Jones and Ava Zamora. Jones and Zamora were diligent in their efforts to get behind the backline, with Jones putting a chance away 15 minutes into the second half and then finding the third in the last few minutes of the game. Center backs Bella Paladino and Mia Brunelli maintained their composure and outside defenders Nina Wolff, Grace Doering, and Avery Bell continued to win tackles and start attacks by connecting with their midfielders.
The U14 RC team took care of business Sunday morning, winning 7-0 and securing themselves a spot in the semifinals. While the semifinal game ended in a 3-0 loss, the team learned a lesson in physicality , adapting their game to play more quickly a bit too late in the second half. Overall, the U14 RC team had a great weekend with lots of learning opportunities, but also many positive moments.
U11 Pre-ECNL Teams
The U11 White team went 3-1-0 on the weekend, only conceding 1 goal in four games. A dominating performance of possession and overall shots in game one ended with a score of 11-0. Game two proved to be a much tougher match, and after going down a goal minutes into the game, the team fought hard to get the equalizer. After chance after chance the U11 team finally tied the game up 1-1, but was unable to find the winner despite many more opportunities. The team won game three 3-0, and game four 2-0, thanks to great defending and high work rate by all. Congrats to Ana Banner, Tessa Bryan, Madelyn Girga, Lexi Hanzel, Miley Johnson, Addie Kohler, Kylie Lundgren, Ella Molnar, Natalie Nolte, Mahala Polk, Kendall Scadden, Emersyn Simon, Addie Thomas, and Connie Watson on a great weekend!
Three wins for the U11 Black team gave them the first place trophy on Sunday, in a group without a championship match. In game one, after having the ball the most of the first half, the girls were down 0-1 going into halftime after a free kick goal. The U11s made sure this was one of the only chances their opposition would get and came out in the second half determined to make a comeback. With quality play in the final third, they scored twice but should have had more in what ended up a 2-1 win. After getting the motor running in game one, the goals were easier to come by in game two, with a final score of 5-1. The final match started with a game, with the U11s scoring immediately, but the opponents were not going to give goal number two up so easily. Harper Bolyard remained calm and made a PK save to keep her team up by a goal before the high pressing FC WI team found goals two and three with minutes remaining in the game 3-0. A well fought first place finish was earned by Nora Balz, Harper Bolyard, Harper Bublitz, Alayna Gleeson, Marisa Gonzalez, Riley Holbrook, Rebecca Howard, Sydney Lynch, Alyssa Malen, Claudia Schilder, Julia Skarda, and Madelyn Stocks!
U12 Pre-ECNL Teams
The U12 White team had tough competition all weekend, going 1-1-2, but played great soccer in every game. After tying game one 1-1, the girls decided to be braver and take more shots with all their possession in the final third. They did just that and won 4-0, when the score could have been much higher. The last two games saw the girls fighting hard but on the wrong end of the results - but with signs of the improvement they worked on all winter. Nicole Chase, Lauren Wittanen, and Grace Parker were solid players defensively in front of goalkeeper Paige Johnson. Isabel Frantz, Emersen Hay, Myla Bryan, Julia Bell, Ari Brunelli, and Brooke Jakubowski controlled and connected well in the midfield, while Rowan Bell and Madelyn Keller created many chances for the team up top.
The U12 Black team went 4-0-0 on the weekend, scoring dozens of goals while conceding none. Game one proved to be the most difficult match-up, remaining scoreless for much of the game as FC WI took a lot of shots from distance where the opposing goalkeeper was up to the task. The 12s finally found the back of the net for the first goal and goal two came shortly after for a final of 2-0. The goals came much easier after that as the team found ways to connect, play forward, and create chances on goal. Game two and three ended with dominant wins before game four was more challenging. The girls continued to connect and possess, playing faster than their opponents high press. After finishing many more quality chances, the game ended 5-0 and the U12 Black team claimed the first-place trophy. Congrats to players Molly Armstrong, Catherine Arnold, Madelyn Balz, Elise Damato, Olivia Devareaux, Eily Duffy, Payton Haugen, Madeline Leffel, Anna Mcknight, Taylor Perkins, Ellie Staviski, and Kate VandenBerg on a solid weekend!
U15 Spring Team
The U15 Spring team, a combination of Milwaukee and Madison players, walked away from the weekend with 4 wins, 27 goals, and a Rush Wisconsin Spring Tournament Championship. The team played most of their games in the opponent’s half, finishing opportunity after opportunity. Midfield players Emily Fix, Greta Czachor, Lilliah Blum, Courtney Schmidt, and Izzy Arnold played a fast pace game, making decisions in two quick touches, winning tackles and starting attacks. Outside midfielders Kate Aman-Lavicky, Soatera Boado, Allison Prough, Lauren Busalacchi, Ashley Wolfe, and Sophia Englund kept the energy high the whole game, driving at the defenders and creating dozens of chances on goal.
With zero goals conceded, defenders Lucia Englund, Claire Lesnjak, Megan Merlet, and Dri Alberts showed technical skill and composure to break lines and find early balls in behind the defense, and their communication and organization allowed their teammates to maintain possession in the opponent’s half for the majority of each game. With two long days and four impressive performances, the U15 Spring team walked away with a championship and smiles on their faces, looking forward to the next opportunity to compete together.