Whitecaps FC Girls Elite won their second game at the NCAA Final Four Showcase tournament by dominating Sting Blue of Texas 8-0.
The momentum the team built in their first match, in which they defeated FC Dallas 3-0 Thursday, carried over into the team’s second game.
“After they built up their play, they just kept it rolling into this match,” said Whitecaps FC Girls Elite head coach Jesse Symons. “We were really excited to play from minute one onwards. They created a lot of changes and overwhelmed the Sting team and made it difficult for them to really stop us.”
It was Sessen Stevens who stole the show for the 'Caps, scoring three goals along with adding an assist.
While Stevens had a career game, the whole squad played a sharp team game, playing with terrific chemistry, said Symons.
In Thursday’s match, the 'Caps came out hesitant and played a more individual game. Since scoring their first goal of the tournament, the nerves settled and the girls started playing for each other as a team.
This trend continued in a big way against Sting Blue. By playing as a team, the players have been able to showcase each other’s talent, said Symons.
“At the beginning we were kind of shaky but then we calmed it down, we kept the ball a lot and we were doing really good combinations,” said Rachel Jones, who had two assists. “The forwards are also making really good runs and supporting each other.”
The scoring opened in the 21st minute when Chelsea Harkins took a pass from Margaret Hadley and made no mistake on the shot.
“It was really exciting, I was pretty happy with the goal. It was a team effort so that’s good,” said Harkins. “It’s been great, I feel confident on the field, I think I’ve done some good things to impact the game.”
She would add another goal in the 71st minute after volleying a corner kick from Jones.
Harkins would have a 3-point night, also adding an assist on one of Stevens’ goals.
Other Whitecaps making the scoreboard included Alessia Azermadh with one goal, a goal and assist from Margaret Hadley, and a goal from Monika Levarsky.
With the success NCAA teams have had in finding talent from the Whitecaps’ program in the past, schools now know to look out for teams coming out of the program.
“Players that have come through our program have played very well in University and are top players in college teams as well,” said Symons.
LSU and Oregon State have both already given scholarships to grade 12 members of the Girls Elite team and will no doubt continue to keep an eye on the girls this weekend.
The team will play their final game of the showcase tomorrow. It’s expected to be their toughest outing as they face the Texas State champions, the Dallas Texans.
The girls will also get the chance to watch the semi-final games of the college portion of the event that will feature Stanford -vs- North Carolina and Penn State -vs- Florida State.
Coach Symons says watching the games will be an invaluable experience for his players.
“It will really show them the best of the best in college soccer. There are perennial teams that every year they are having success. I think the players will definitely enjoy the games and will hopefully get really motivated for our next game.