Article Written by Gary Curreri
Published: November 23, 2018
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Before the annual US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Girls Thanksgiving Interregional began, 2003 South Region coach Patrick Baker told his squad they wanted to be the team that everyone talked about and he believes that was the case.
“I think we did for the most part, even here late, the (East) goalkeeper made two phenomenal saves and we missed a PK, but the game was in the balance,” said Baker, whose team won the division with a 2-0-1 record following a 2-2 tie with the East Region on the fourth and final day of play at the Spanish River Athletic Complex in Boca Raton, Fla.
“I thought we had the majority of the better chances,” said Baker, whose team outscored the opposition, 13-3, most goals in any age group for the week.
Baker noted it was the third game in four days and some of the girls played games on both days of the weekend before arriving.
“This is never easy, but we talked about closing out strong,” Baker said. “I think the whole body of work and to be scoring at a two-goal clip every game and showing well individually and collectively it is definitely one of the best performances the last few years here.”
The South tied the East 2-2 in the final match of the week. Izzy Kimberly (Jacksonville, FL) scored on an assist from Mary Whitaker Buchanan
(Bowling Green, KY) in the second minute and Emmy Scheifer (Lake Worth) made it 2-0 in the 20th minute.
The East cut the lead in half just before halftime on a goal by Michaela Salvati
(Medford, NJ) and then tied the game at 2-2 in the 42nd minute on a goal by Jailene DeJesus (Wyomissing, PA). The South missed a PK and had two shots saved in the closing minutes on acrobatic saves by keeper Morgan Wood (York, PA) to wind up tied.
The South’s Pia Beaulieu
(Boca Raton, FL), Whitaker Buchanan, Olivia Lebdaoiul (Panama City Beach, FL), and Kimberly all finished with three goals to lead the group.