Special the The Weekly
Marathon’s AYSO program sent two teams to the AYSO State Games held last weekend in Wellington, Fl. Both teams advanced out of pool play and were winners on Monday.
U14 girls team went undefeated in six games with only letting in one goal off a penalty kick to be crowned AYSO State Games Champions of 2011. This is the first team from Marathon ever to win the title.
The boys went 2-1 in pool play and lost a heart-breaking semi finals game in overtime 5-3. Both teams won the sportsmanship title in both their divisions.
Coach Chris Bull commented, “It was a fantastic weekend. Both teams were winners playing the games and how we played the games. We kept our eyes on the prize, remained aggressive and played fair while playing our hearts out. Our supporters were great, too. I can’t ask for a much better weekend!”
The girls played four pool play games. In Saturday morning’s game against Boynton Beach, they were getting their legs under them after traveling; they took 23 shots, and only four were on goal. However, Savannah Rodamer scored off a nice pass by Brandi Spalten so Marathon came away with a 1-0 win.
The girls started to show their skill during the second game against Weston as hustle made all the difference in dominating possession for a comfortable 4-0 win. Rodamer scored a hat trick with goals assisted by Savannah Schuhmacher and Spalten and then hit a left foot finish for the third. Regan Durkin completed the scoring by converting a penalty kick near the end of the game.
Sunday morning was cold and damp, but the girls were warmed up and ready to play West Palm Beach as they scored two goals in the first eight minutes of the 8 am game. Spalten scored first with an assist by Rodamer. Rodamer scored next with an assist by Durkin. West Palm Beach scored in the second half, converting a penalty kick from an unintentional hand ball in the penalty area. Jesenia De La Cruz got on the score sheet by bulging the back of the net after a nice pass from Spalten. Marathon topped West Palm 3-1.
A Keys clash happened for Sunday’s second game that pitted Marathon against the Upper Keys squad. It was a battle with no scoring in the first half. However, the Marathon girls came out of halftime wanting it more and showing that desire as Rodamer scored three minutes in during a scramble in the box. Ten minutes later, Schuhmacher hit a long ball from Right Back to Rodamer’s Left Forward position and scored to make it 2-0. The defense held as it had all weekend, and Marathon won 2-0.
“The best things I saw the first two days were that we continued to get better every game, and their intensity never wavered; we scored many different ways,” Coach Bull remarked. “I knew we would be hard to beat on Monday because our defense was rock solid. I knew we had an opportunity to make Marathon AYSO history and win the title after what I saw on Saturday and Sunday.”
Four wins put Marathon in first place in their pool, so the squad played the second place winner of the other pool, another Weston team in the semi-finals.
“I told the girls we needed to come out fast and make this game ours right away. Twenty nine seconds after the opening whistle, we had our first goal!” said Bull.
Durkin scored from a 35-yard shot using the heavy winds and placement to fool the keeper.
Twenty one minutes later, Alexandra Montagne knocked a ball the keeper mishandled over to Spalten to get the go-ahead goal 2-0. The defense held to punch Marathon’s ticket to the finals.
The weather had been trying to hold out but finally deteriorated in the first half of the finals.
Playing a West Palm Beach team, the girls kept focused as rain started to fall and was continuous throughout the game.
“These girls have been coming to this tournament since they were eight years old. Some years they did ok, some years they did not. They wanted to come back this last year for one more shot, and it showed. I am so proud of the girls. The put in a lot of hard work on the practice field and sacrificed other social events so this day would come.”
The 2011 U14 Girls AYSO State Soccer Champions include front row, (l-r): Sammie Egan, Jesenia De La Cruz, Brandi Spalten, Samantha Bonilla and Savannah Rodamer; back row, (l-r): Alexandra Montagne, Jackie Clairmont, Sacha Olivera, Amanda Bruland, Emily Romero, Savannah Schuhmacher, Regan Durkin, Amanda Ban and Coach Chris Bull.