Whitecaps FC Girls Elite U-18 squad shows well at NCAA Final 4 Showcase

Team goes 1W-1L-1D in Atlanta

Members of the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite U-18 squad continue to make commitments to college. Last week, Navneet Samra decided that she will be attending the University of British Columbia (UBC), joining several of her current teammates.

Earlier this month, the team travelled to Atlanta, Georgia, for the NCAA Final 4 Showcase where they had they chance to display their talents for collegiate coaches in the United States, as well as watch Stanford University claim their first-ever NCAA women's soccer championship. In the showcase, the team went 1W-1L-1D. Manager Carrie Taylor breaks down the results of their final two matches:

Second match

After a comeback 2-2 draw in their first match, the U-18 Girls Elite Whitecaps hoped to rebound with a victory. However with tired legs and bodies, the players suffered a heartbreaking last minute loss at the hand of SWISC Rush from Indiana. The ‘Caps dominated play and the score of 2-1 didn’t show the dominance they had within the game. Both of their opponents’ goals came against the run of play. The first half ended 0-0 as the Whitecaps numerous shots, but none that could beat the goalkeeper. The Rush played a direct style, launching long balls that the ‘Caps had to clean up.

The ladies came out strong for the first 10 minutes of the second half as they kept good possession and rattled off a few shots. However, the Rush goalkeeper launched a thundering punt, which the ‘Caps allowed to bounce. The ‘Caps goalkeeper came out to grab it, but the hard field helped guide the ball over her and into the back of the net.

The girls didn’t get rattled, as they kept the pressure on, and responded nicely as forward Lucielle Kozlov sent a diagonal ball into the path of Emma Fletcher, who then curled a right footed volley to the far post. The team kept pressing and had three good opportunities, however, each of them were whistled offside.

With one minute remaining, the Rush got a throw-in deep in the Whitecaps area, and the defence had a bit of a communication disconnection, allowing a ball to be served across the front of the goal to an unmarked player waiting at the back post. The final score would be the ‘Caps first loss of the fall, 2-1.

Lineup

First Half: Bianca Ribi, Kajal Parmar, Elissa Neff, Emma Fletcher,(Jasmin Dhanda) Sam Dion, Jasmine Mander, Aman Shergill, Nikki Turney, Lindsay Johansen, Lucielle Kozlov, Kayla Klim.

Second Half: Elise Wyatt, Lucielle Kozlov, Jasmin Dhanda, Emma Fletcher, Sam Dion, Jasmine Mander, Aman Shergill, Katherine Baker, Nikki Turney, Justine Do, Jules McDonald.

Third match

In their final match, the team vowed to end the tournament on a high note. The team had an early start with a 7:15 a.m. match. The match, however, proved to be very entertaining. The scoring opened with an inadvertent handball in the box, thus giving Cincinnati United a penalty kick seven minutes into the match.  The ‘Caps once again owned possession but keep attacking a bit too central into a clogged middle. They found themselves down 1-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the focus was getting it wide and isolating the outside back of United for one-on-ones. This worked, as Jasmin Dhanda beat her player down the left flank and crossed a ball which forward Elise Wyatt headed on net only to see the goalkeeper get a hand on it, but the rebound dropped to Kajal Parmar who tied up the match.

The forwards were working hard and creating lots of chances. Dhanda once again beat her player and played the ball to Wyatt again who beat two defenders and the goalkeeper to score and make it 2-1. That was not the end though, as the game would get a little more interesting.

With about seven minutes left, the ‘Caps would make a miscue on a goal kick allowing the opponent to score to tie the game 2-2. The girls would not be stopped as they rallied once again. Midfielder Sam Dion won a header to teammate Lucielle Kozlov, who would find herself about 20 yards out, she stayed composed and beat a defender and then the goalkeeper to make the final score 3-2.

Lineup

First half: Elsie Wyatt, Bianca Ribi, Lucielle Kozlov, Jasmine Dhanda, Elissa Neff, Jasmine Mander Aman Shergill, Katherine Baker, Nikki Turney, Lindsay Johansen, Jules McDonald.

Second Half: Elise Wyatt, Kajal Parmar, Jasmin Dhanda,(Lucielle Kozlov), Emma Fletcher,(Elissa Neff) Sam Dion, Jasmine Mander, Aman Shergill, Katherine Baker, Nikki Turney, Justine Do, Kayla Kilm.

Overall, the weekend was a great success, as the main focus was to get the players in front of American college coaches. There were many coaches at the games and the players showed their technical abilities very well on the big stage.