August 12th-14th Sparta United soccer club hosted the 29th annual Sparta Cup Soccer Tournament in Sandy, Utah. Teams from across the state and into Idaho went to compete. Infinity Soccer club had four teams represented and two of the teams won first place titles–the U14 girls and the U14 boys. The 97 Premier U14 Girls team is coached by Sherri Dever and Jenni Jenson. Their team played in the gold bracket, which showcased six teams (two from Boise and three from the Salt Lake Valley, then Infinity from Cache Valley). The Infinity 97 Premier team has 17 girls residing from Mendon to Richmond. These girls fought hard and played with all their heart to clench the championship title in the U14 gold division and bring home first place player medals and a nice team trophy. On Friday, August 13th they had an early morning match with Boise National Valencia. The game ended in a 3-3 tie, with goals being scored by Jordyn Brown, and Viri Gomez (2). Later that afternoon they matched up against Sparta United Premier only to be defeated 2-0. With the tournament point system they were then tied for 2nd place with Boise. Head to head competition and point differentials still left the two teams tied. The team to advance to semi-finals would be determined by a PK shootout the next morning. Saturday morning was very tense with lots of adrenalin flowing. Parents were pacing and trying not to have anxiety attacks :). Girls were nervous but focused, and striving to advance. Viri Gomez played goalie and Katelyn Whipple, Carly Richins, Torie Barker, Rebecca “Boo” Jenson, and Anna Davidson were in the lineup to take shots. After 5 shots both teams were still tied 3-3 and were forced to go into “sudden death”. It would take four more players shooting, Gentri Green, Kilee Lamb, Anna “Nano” Anderson, and Lindy Schroeder along with talented Goalie Viri Gomez blocking shots before the Infinity 97 Premier team advanced to semi-finals. They then faced Boise Nationals Alemania Premier. It was a very fast and skillful game, that ended in a 1-1 tie. Hailey Oldham had Infinity’s goal. After two five minute overtimes there was still no goal. It was onto another PK shootout. Viri Gomez stayed in goal and the same five girls from the morning round took shots. Infinity came out on top, 3-2 and earned a spot in the final championship game against Utah FC 97. In the championship game, Infinity 97 was down 2-1 at half, with a left footed bullet from Anna Davidson. Not content with second place, they came out eager to change things. However, it was not until the end of the second half of the game that they dug deep and found some extra energy and drive. With about seven minutes left, Anna Davidson had a break away and carried the ball to goal, colliding with the goalie. With both girls down, the ball dribbled out and Torie Barker followed up and drove it in. With things tied up and nearing the whistle it looked as if the girls may have to endure one more round of PKs. They had strong D and fought to not let Boise score. The offense tried to drive in one more goal. With about two minutes left, Anna Davidson had another left foot shot that bounced off the left pole to go into the net, putting Infinity in the lead. In the final minutes there were a couple of other attempts to score and a little “pinball” action going on as the ball was being shot and bouncing off players, several times right in front of the goal. The final score was 3-2 and Infinity 97 U14 girls were the first place champions! The Infinity crowd went wild and the girls did their huddle hug victory dance. They went to the awards ceremony to receive medals around their necks and a large team trophy cup. What an exhausting and rewarding soccer day, physically and emotionally for players (and parents :). A great accomplishment for this team, as they adjust to some new players and a change in coaching staff. They are psyched up and revving to go in fall season which begins August 25th. Great job ladies! Go Infinity!!!
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