ECNL U-18: Michigan Hawks get hat trick from Mallory Weber in championship win over Slammers
By Jimmy LaRoue
Waukegan, Ill. — Playing with a shorthanded roster didn’t deter the Under-18 Michigan Hawks all season, so when standout Ally Krause was suspended for the final, it hardly fazed them.
Instead, the Hawks got a standout performance from Mallory Weber, who scored a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Slammers FC in Saturday’s U-18 ECNL final, giving these Hawks their first-ever championship.
“I don’t think we expected to get this far,” Krause said. “We only had about 13 field players, 14 with our goalie, so it was hard getting in shape, our coach [Derek Williford] pushing us.”
Krause’s Hawks teammates each taped her number 12 to their wrists in tribute to their teammate.
Weber helped push the Hawks to a championship win, putting the Hawks up 2-0 in the first half, and she added a third as they controlled play from start to finish. Her second was especially skillful, as she took an errant back pass and after beating her defender, chipped the ball over the charging goalkeeper and into the net.
“It’s just great, because it’s our last game and we had nothing to lose, so we played as hard as we could,” Weber said.
After Weber scored once more, Layal “Lulu” Haider, who will play at the University of Michigan this fall, added the Hawks’ fourth goal in the second half to cap off the scoring.
Weber said she didn’t expect her goal outburst, considering Krause wasn’t there to play up top in the final. It was difficult for Krause to sit out after receiving a straight red card in Hawks’ 1-0 semifinal win over Solar Chelsea, but she rallied her teammates from the bench.
“It was definitely emotional,” Krause said. “I was definitely in bad condition yesterday, especially when you had poor reffing and whatnot. I just had to motivate my team as much as I could.”
While Weber had a standout game, the Hawks defense stood firm through 90 minutes, too.
“Our defense is always strong,” Weber said. “They work their butts off. They’re just really fast and they played through the entire game, which helped us out up top.”
The sweltering conditions were tough on everyone in Waukegan this week, particularly for a team like the Hawks without a deep bench.
“I think after a lot of water and ice baths and everything, we managed to push through it,” Weber said. “Everybody was in the same boat so they were all just as tired.”
And though Weber and Krause will be Big 10 rivals in the fall – Weber at Penn State and Krause at Michigan State – they get to finish off with a satisfying championship. Most other members of this group of Hawks will be scattering across Michigan and the rest of the country filling the rosters of some of the top Division I programs in the country.
“It truly means a lot to me, because I’ve been playing with some of these girls since I was eight years old,” Krause said.
Said Weber: “I just think it’s exciting to go out like this, knowing that we did everything we could and finished on a good note. We just have better things to do now.”