The U12 Girls Delaware Rush team from Hockessin, DE won the U.S. Regional Soccer Championship on Tuesday, July 2 in Kingston, Rhode Island. This Rush are the first girls’ soccer team from Delaware to win this prestigious event.
The girls made Delaware history by going undefeated through the 9 matches including the Delaware State Cup and the Regional Championship. In those 9 matches, the Rush dominated the opposition on both ends of the field, outscoring their opponents 36-0.
In the Regional Championship, the Rush first took on West Virginia who they defeated 4-0; then defeated Nationally ranked Virginia 1-0 before tying New York (West) to advance to the semifinals.
In the tightly contested semifinal match, the Rush continued to play strong defense which kept them alive long enough for some late-game heroics. With less than 10 minutes left in the match, Forward Sheyenne Allen scored the winning goal to send the Rush to the Championship Game.
The Championship Game against New York (East) would prove to be just as tough as their semifinal match up with New York (West). Involved in yet another defensive battle, the defensive line of Julia Jogani, Lauren Anshen, Summer Stewart and Mary Pepe stood tall in front of Goalkeeper Sydney Keld who was once again perfect when it matter most keeping all New York (East) attempts out of the back of the net.
“New York was a really fast team with some strong shooters,” said Keld after the victory. “We worked hard the entire game to make sure that we did everything we could to make sure they didn’t score. Our team has a really strong defense and we really wanted to get the shutout!”
With only 5 minutes remaining in the match up, the stage was set for a familiar stand out to make yet another appearance. Allen scored her second game-winning goal in as many games after she was able to break free from the New York (East) defense placing a perfect shot off the right-side post to clinch the Championship for the Rush.
After the victory, an emotional Allen talked about the team’s success while giving credit to her teammates, coaches, and team parents for their support and guidance during the team’s miraculous championship run.
“I am so proud of our team, we accomplished more when we play as a team and I always take every opportunity I get to strike on goal,” said Allen after the victory. “It was a great way to end the season and I’m looking forward to the upcoming soccer season playing 11v11 with the team. Thanks to both our coaches for believing in us and to our parents for always being there.”
Coach Scott Smith echoed the praise of the team’s overall defensive effort, while putting the experience in perspective.
“Defense wins championships, “said Smith. “I think youth sports are about life lessons, and I think this gave them an extra life experience. I look forward to them becoming better soccer players in the next few years. They can take it as far as they want as long as they continue to work hard.”