Jefferson Cup: Day One, Girls’ U-17 Platinum division
Here are PSW’s reports and observations from the U-17 Platinum division on day one of the Jefferson Cup girls’ weekend.
LMVSA Patriots (Va.) vs. Lexington FC 94 Premier (Ky.)
Final Score: 2-0
While the Lexington squad was a tough, physical opponent for the LMVSA Patriots, the local team from Lee Mount Vernon displayed a calm rhythm of possession that kept the visiting squad off their game plan. Two first-half goals kept the Patriots confident for the second half, and their defense held strong to seal the win.
The Patriots’ first goal came from Rebecca Henry, who finished off Jade Woll’s deflected shot. Jane Heller added a point to her stat sheet when Samantha Shiflette crossed the ball into space, allowing Heller a perfect opportunity to volley the ball into the back of the net.
Lexington Premier had several chances to finish, including a clever corner kick involving a dummy run and a quick one-touch strike, but they just missed one too many times. Shiflette would have picked up another point for her squad when she scored off of a fumbled ball in the box by Premier’s goalkeeper, but the referee called it back.
“I thought they played really well,” said the Patriot’s head coach Lula Bauer. “They possessed the ball well, and the communication was terrific. The Lexington team was very physical, and the only way to counter that was to play quick one touch ball, switching the point of attack, then driving through the middle and they did that. I’m very proud of them.”
Tennessee Futbol Club Azul (Tn.) vs. Freehold Shooting Stars (N.J.)
Final Score: 1-0
With height, work rate and an attacking mindset across their midfield, Freehold controlled possession for long stretches of this match and looked sure to take something away from the game.
But TNFC gradually hauled themselves into contention and snatched a counterattack goal that put the pressure on their New Jersey adversaries. Using the wings well and showing real resilience to hold their lead, the Tennesseeans made an impressive statement with a hard-earned 1-0 win.
“It was a bit of a drive to get up here, but definitely well worth it. We had a great game — competition was great,” said TNFC coach Gabe Garcia afterwards. “Probably got a little bit lucky with our result, but definitely the girls are excited to be playing in an event like this, with tons of coaches everywhere.
“To pull that [win] out, we definitely gave a lot of effort and that’s good, to come on a big stage like this and give that kind of effort. That’s what you want as a coach.”