The Michigan Hawks 02 Team led by Coach Michele Krzisnik won the CASL Showcase in Raleigh North Carolina last weekend. The CASL Shootout brings together the top U11-U14 girl’s soccer teams from around the country. Over 190 Teams competed in the 3 age groups. The Hawks 02 team played in the U13 Elite division.
The Hawks had to dig their way out of a slight hole, going down 1-0 in the first half of the first game to the FC Stars out of Massachusetts. The Hawks then controlled the play through the second half but it took a header goal from Katie Nestico off a corner with less than 10 seconds left to earn the 1-1 draw.
Scoring was also at a premium in the second game when Emma Hiscock scored at the 45 minute mark to put the Hawks up 1-0 on the BRYC 01 Elite team. The lead would not hold as the BRYC scored with 5 minutes remaining to again draw even at 1-1.
In a very tight bracket that featured very equal teams, the Hawks had to score 3 goals to win the goal differential battle to move into the finals. A daunting task against a Jacksonville Football Club Team who had won 4-1 and tied 3-3 the day before. Emma Hiscock, Katie Nestico, Josie Aulicino and Sydney Kloosterman each scored to make sure of the goal cushion needed. Then the defense anchored by Alexa Morello, Hannah, Wabel and Adrianna Stranges took over, not allowing a shot in the game to secure the trip to the finals.
The girls only got a half hour break to have a Gatorade and a snack before taking on the Boston Breakers in the Finals. The Breakers had rolled through their bracket with wins of 4-1, 9-1 and 3-1. The Hawks were the faster team and controlled play throughout the first half. Each team had a couple chances and a great save by Haley Craig two minutes before halftime, kept them scoreless at the half. Two minutes into the second half, Emma Hiscock got the Hawks on the board after slotting through a brilliant assist from Grace Kelley. Sydney Kloosterman made it 2-0 from the top of the penalty area after a great defensive win and pass up the field from Jordan Zak. Boston came back with two goals of their own to tie it with 5 minutes left in regulation. Two overtime periods went with any score so it came down to the shootout. Sydney Kloosterman, Emma Hiscock, Alexa Morello, Grace Kelley all scored but it was Maia Richters who beat the goalie for the final goal and a much deserved win. Congratulations to the Hawks 02 team and Coach Michele on a well-earned victory.