The following article was shared by Daniel Waz and edited.
At the conclusion of its fall clinic soccer season, South River Your Athletics (SRYA) formed an under-8 girls all-star team comprised of players from every team in its in-house clinic league.
The team, coached by Dan Waz, had less than two weeks to gel as a team and prepare for the 24th annual Mountain Road Soccer Tournament.
Full of excitement for attending their first tournament, the Seahawks opened the tournament strongly by shutting out Broadneck 4-0, with goals by Adrianna Parker (2), Erica Yamaner and Savannah Hannon. Midfielders Rachael Barge, Hannah Degen, Lily Mullen, Caroline Trent and Calen Norton outran their Broadneck opponents, sending the ball back into the Broadneck defensive half of the field.
The Seahawk defense of Skylar Foland, Kaitlyn Waz, Heidi Tine and goalkeeper Erin McGaha recorded the shutout.
With a long break between games, it took the Seahawks some time to regain their prior form. Trailing 3-1 late in the game, the Seahawks made tactical adjustments to increase pressure on the Annapolis Soccer Association (ASA) goal.
Forwards Adrianna Parker, Erica Yamaner and Savannah Hannon applied relentless offensive pressure on the ASA goalie. The constant bombardment by the Seahawks forwards proved too much for ASA’s defenders as the Seahawks scored 2 unanswered goals in the final 2 minutes of the game to earn a 3-3 tie.
In a cold and windy third game, the Seahawks played against the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC).
In the back-and-forth match, neither team could gain an early edge. SACs defense was unyielding as Seahawk forwards searched for an opening. The Seahawks were unable to score during the game and eventually lost the match 0-2.
Despite the loss, the Seahawks earned a place in the Championship Game, facing SAC for a second time.
From the onset, the Seahawks immediately pressured their familiar foe generating early scoring chances that forced the SAC coach to change his goalkeeper and strengthen his defense.
The SAC defense, familiar with the skill and speed of the Seahawk forwards, played a very physical game sending Seahawks Adrianna Parker and Erica Yamaner out of the game for brief spells due to hard tackles.
With the game tied 0-0 late in the first half, Seahawk goalie Erin McGaha stopped a SAC breakaway and point blank shot keeping her team in the game.
With 10 minutes left in the second half of the heart-throbbing, back-and-forth game, SAC scored their first goal of the match.
Trailing 0-1 and time running out in the Championship Game, the Seahawks applied a full-fieldpress keeping the ball in SAC’s defensive end of the field. The SAC goalie made several diving saves preserving her team’s lead, including scooping the ball off the goal line just prior to a Seahawk forward reaching it for the tying goal.
The Seahawks lost the game 0-1, but earned a Runner-Up finish in the Girls Under-8 age group.
Not bad for their first tournament!
For more information about SRYA Soccer or to join a team, please visit www.SRYA.org.