Alliance FC CESC 02 Girls Orange coach Kenrick Ramirez’s birthday is today.
Winning Sunday’s U14 State Cup was the perfect gift.
Sasha Thompson scored both goals, including one in extra time, to lift the Alliance FC Columbus Express Soccer Club 02 Girls Orange over the ZYSA (Zionsville Youth Soccer Association) 02 Girls Select 2-1 to win the championship at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex.
“They have given me many gifts,” Ramirez said. “These girls work so hard and I could not be more proud of them.”
The moment also was very special to co-captain Lindsey Stoughton, who has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old. She recently returned to the pitch in time for the tournament after suffering a concussion that kept her out for three months.
“My team has been very supportive of me,” Stoughton said. “We won last year (in the U13 division), and I am excited we won it again this year, because this is my last year and I will be playing high school.”
Stoughton will be taking her talents to Columbus East this fall.
The tournament was divided into three groups — the State Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Challenge Cup, with the State Cup being the most prestigious. Alliance FC CESC 02 Girls Orange and ZYSA 02 Girls Select were the top two ranked teams in their division.
“It was one thing to win last year, but this year we proved ourselves to everyone,” Christy DeDomenic said.
Carlie Werner and Caroline Hollenkamp also added that the team put in a lot more effort this season while the team was battling through many injuries.
After ZYSA got the equalizing goal late in the second half to force extra time, goalkeeper Brea Hunter faced many challenges early on in the extra time session and helped the team get out of a tough situation.
“It definitely becomes a mental thing because I have to be the one that communicates to everyone and keep them in their positions and get them going,” Hunter said. “Once you tie it up, it is a lot more pressure to get another goal and pressure for me not to concede. You’ve got to tell your back three where they need to be and who to mark up so you do not concede and can push forward.”
In the U14 State Cup semifinal round Saturday morning, Alliance FC CESC 02 Girls Orange defeated the Indiana Fire Juniors South 02G Premier Red 5-2.
The Alliance FC CESC 03 Girls Orange also competed Saturday morning in the U13 State Cup semifinals against FC Pride 03 Elite, suffering a 2-0 loss in that match.