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MATCHFIT CHELSEA COLCHESTERS CAPTURE US YOUTH SOCCER REGION 1 CROWN

              U14G Colchesters and U15G Beat headed to USYSA Nationals!

Surraco’s Last Minute Goal Sends Colchesters to USYS National Championships in Phoenix, AZ
 
Lucia Surraco scored a dramatic, game-winning  goal with only seconds remaining  as the MatchFit Chelsea Colchesters defeated their arch rival PDA Clash to win the competitive Girls’s Under 14 division 1-0 in an all-New Jersey final at the 2011 US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championships in Manheim, PA.
 
Surraco started  the last-minute Colchester rally pushing the ball towards the PDA goal.  But the streaking Surraco was fouled, setting up a Colchester free kick that Casey Garfinkel boomed in front of the PDA goal. A PDA defender was poised to clear the ball but Colchester tri-captain Kayla Jennings alertly cut that player off.
 
Surraco seized that opening. Blasting the loose ball  past the diving PDA goalkeeper to win the Region 1 title that has eluded the three-time, New Jersey state champions in two previous Region 1 competitions.
 
Surraco’s game-winning goal was her third goal of the Region 1 championship where her Colchesters were a perfect 5-0, defeating state champion teams from Connecticut, Vermont, New York and Virginia.  Hana Kerner, Holly Confalone, Kayla Jennings and Carly Lepzig contributed two goals each to pace the Colchsters’ Region 1 tournament scoring.
 
Despite Surraco’s tournament winning goal, it was Claire Fitzpatrick who earned tourney MVP honors for the Colchesters. Fitzpatrick, an original member of the team that was formed seven years ago, was forced to play in goal after goalkeeper Penelope Edmonds was badly injured during the Colchesters FC DELCO championship game against VSA Heat. Fitzpatrick, a reserve defender and midfielder, spent the past month learning the challenging goalie position.  Match Fit Chelsea GK Coach Scott Laulette and Claire spent extra time on the pitch to prepare and in Region One, the novice keeper responded by allowing just three goals while recording three shutouts.
 
With a rookie keeper, the MFA Colchester defense needed to step up; and they did just that. Tri-captain Julia Ashley neutralized opposing frontlines with her speed and aggression but also contributed offensively with dangerous runs from her right back position. Alana Cook and Annie Monaghan provided skillful yet physical presence as center backs. And Garfinkel was a steady influence at left back while also contributing as the team’s set piece ace.
 
Jennings along with Courtney Dadinos, Emily Jordan, Kat Bidad and Lyndsey Ewertsen were vital parts at the midfield key roles in the Region 1 by winning balls, clogging up the middle and looking to create scoring opportunities. The Colchesters missed Gabby Martone, who banged heads with an opponent early in Region 1 and missed the final three games.
 
Presently ranked as the fifth best, girls’ U14 team in the nation by Gotsoccer, the Colchesters - now 20-2-3 for their 2011 Spring/Summer campaign - will face other US regional winners starting July 26 in Phoenix, AZ, at the USYS National Championships along with the U15G Match Fit Chelsea Beat.