The Marine Harvest U18 Riptide Girls soccer team finished the Starfire Showcase tournament in Seattle this past weekend on top of their game with three wins and one loss against teams from Seattle, Tukwila, and Spokane, Washington.
Riptide started with a dominating 5-0 match against a local U19 Starfire Club team demonstrating pace, quality and finishing ability. While the number of goals was impressive, coming from four different players, it was the ball-winning play in the middle of the pitch by Macayla Gray and Megan Robertson who destroyed the attack of the opposition which then allowed perfect penetrating passes by Olivia Bates to Maddy Barry on the attack.
This was followed by another dominating game on a cold Saturday morning where the defensive team of Calli-Ann Abbott and Zoe Nilson built a wall at midfield denying the opposition even a sniff at goal. This was supported and anchored by Emily Keyes who showed her strength through the middle. It wasn’t until 10 minutes from the end when Sloan Hofmann, who was in fine attacking form all weekend, hit a driving curving free kick to win it 1-0.
The next game, against a pooled U19 team from Spokane, really tested all aspects of Riptide’s game. It was a bloody, fast-paced, counter-attacking game that had the coaches, players, and fans on the edge of their seats for the 60 minutes.
Unfortunately, the pace of Spokane’s strike partners were just too much and they ended up scoring twice on breakaways early in the second half to win 2-0. “This was a very tough loss for the players who played their hearts out, but it’s just the type of opposition we need to push us to another level,” said coach Ash Mohtadi. Ricci Leitch deserved the match ball for literally sacrificing her body in this game.
The final match pitted a strong Seattle side who could not keep pace with Riptide. After a slow-paced goalless draw in the first half, Riptide hit their stride in the second. Magical attacking runs on the left side by Sloan combining with Chloe Gummer on a darting run to the near post resulted in the first goal.
This was matched moments later by Abbie Simms unbalancing defenders on the right side and hitting Kate Fisher at the back post for a tap in. Riptide nearly scored several more with outside shooting coming from Toni Powsey after some nice attacking play and inspired overlapping play by Jayden Grant.
Special note for Charlotte Mohtadi and Jada Allen in the goalkeeping roles, who kept three clean sheets and provided excellent support to the back four over the course of the event.
“Better than the wins and the scores was the fact that we played balanced attacking football over the course of the weekend,” summed up Mohtadi. “Good luck to the girls as they continue in their quest to top the VIPL league. We missed you Justine,” the coach added.