Matt Griffin’s 99 Girls traveled to “Big D” December 10-11, 2011 and showcased its very own tenacious D with three shutouts during bracket play and giving up only one goal during the final…returning just before midnight Sunday as TFC Blue Cup Champions in the Girls U13 Gold Division.
The 99s began the tournament with a 1-0 win over TFC 99 Blue with a great defensive battle. TSCH 99 Griffin’s goal came late in the second half as the TFC goalie was able to block a cross from forward Izzy Barton only to be collected by midfielder Lily Murray, tapping out to Sam Mickle for the score.
In their 2nd game, TSCH 99 faced a rematch with the Plano Labor Day Invitational finalists, FC Dallas Blue South. Controlling the match from the whistle, TSCH 99 claimed a 2-0 victory when forward Izzy Barton followed her shot on goal, popping the ball loose upon crashing the FC Dallas goalie and allowing Sam Mickle to tap it in for her second goal of the day. After forward Jaqui Fernandez was taken down in the box, defender Bryn McQuaid made the PK to put the game out of reach for FC Dallas and clenching a spot in the finals for the TSCH 99 Griffin team.
On a cold and windy Sunday morning, the third game placed TSCH against TFC 99. The Plano Labor Day Invitational Champions maintained relentless pressure on the TSCH defense and goalie, Paige Hobart, who responded with clutch saves and field switching punts. The aggressive back-and-forth play resulted in a 0-0 tie.
The tie against TSCH put the TFC 99 team into the finals with a record of 0-3-0 and a rematch. The first half continued the defensive battle from the morning’s game but after a rousing half time speech from Coach Griffin, the 99s dominated the second half with attack after attack. TSCH 99s goal came after forward Jaqui Fernandez was taken down for the second time during the tournament, allowing midfielder Kearstin Littau to float a free kick into the upper 90. Later in the second half, a TFC midfielder powered a free kick right under the cross bar only to be denied the goal by TSCH goalie Paige Hobart, who did her best “Michael Jordan” to make the save. Late in the 2nd half, TFC was able to even the score from a second free kick that was deflected into the goal. Following regulation play, TSCH 99s dominance pressed on in two OT periods but still could not convert leaving the Final to be decided by a PK duel. Hobart’s presence in the goal continued to be felt as TFC missed their first two attempts. TSCH kickers Sam Mickle, Bailey Liebherr and Bryn McQuaid converted their PKs to put their team up 3-2. The fifth and final attempt by TFC was drilled…and stopped…with a block by Hobart to clinch the OT PK victory under the lights!
Congratulations to TSC Hurricane Griffin and Coach Matt for a well-earned 2011 TFC Blue Cup Championship and the team’s elevation into GotSoccer’s Top 50 National Ranking and 6th in Region Three.