Team narrowly misses championship title

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

TAMPA, FL— The Richmond Kickers U-14 Super Y-League team made a Cinderella run to the USL Super Y-League National Championship game, falling to South Atlantic rivals Atlanta Silverbacks Jrs. by a 2-0 scoreline last month. The first-ever Kickers team to compete in a National Championship, the U-14 Girls concluded a historic season as Super Y-League finalists.

Dina Scott, the daughter of Hunterdale native “Bub” Scott and Alex Scott and niece of David and Sharon Lee of David’s Market in Hunterdale, was on the team.

“We are so proud of her and the team,” her father said.

The USL Super Y-League is a professionalized system that is the first step for developing elite youth soccer players in North America. Affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the league is designed for talented youth players destined for professional or international careers, such as Scott.

The title match was hard-fought between two tired teams, both of whom played four games in four days. While the Kickers had a point blank chance by Scott in the first minute that the goalkeeper stifled, the Silverbacks registered first, one minute later, off a cross and first-time finish.

The Kickers pressured but could not equalize and the Silverbacks struck again on a cross and head finish in the 52nd minute. Kickers goalkeeper Kirsten Hancock was able to tip the shot off the bar, but the ball slipped just over the line despite her heroic efforts.

It was a remarkable journey for the young women from Richmond, who battled through a tough group stage that included the Washington Freedom, Washington Crossfire, and the Kalamazoo Kingdom with a 2-0-1 record.

In the Semifinal Round, the Kickers defeated national power, Quickstrike 1-0 on a lone goal from Allison Bortell.