Eagle FC Impact went to the Spirit
United Kickoff Classic this weekend looking to avoid a repeat of last
year's early exit during the qualifiers. Impact's tournament draw had
them facing two familiar opponents: FC Europa '02 and Rage SC
Renegades. Both teams have given Impact trouble in the past, so
qualifying was not a sure thing.
Impact's first game, at 2pm against FC Europa, was a rout, with Impact
going 7-0. A clean sheet in the first game hinted at good things to
come, but not without some hard work. The next game, at 6pm, against
Rage SC was started with Impact coming out early and scoring three goals
before the Renegades started to warm up. Late in the first half the
Renegades scored on keeper McKenna R to go into the half 3-1. In the
second half, McKenna R took to the field and keeper Abbie M took over in
the net. Late into the second half Kenna got her goal back to take
Impact up 4-1 before the Renegades put one more away to finish the game
On day two, Impact would have to defeat PDA Magic in order to make it to
the finals to face last-year's champion: South Jersey Elite Barons.
The game started with an early goal against Impact to give PDA Magic the
lead 1-0. Later in the same half PDA got a second goal to take the
lead 2-0 going into half-time. Coach Steve Snyder reminded them that
they had a full 30 minutes left to turn the tide of the game, and the
girls did. In the second half Impact scored three unanswered goals to
take the lead 3-2 until 0:18 seconds from the end of regulation PDA
scored the tying goal to take the game into overtime. PDA and Impact
battled through one five-minute over time period without any additional
scores and moved into the second OT period. One minute before OT would
finish Julia R scored a blistering shot to put Impact ahead 4-3. Impact
now needed to hold on one minute in a fierce fight for the final. PDA
put everything they could into that last minute but the vaunted Impact
defense, and keeper McKenna R made save after save until over time
completed. Impact emerged victorious!
In the final, Impact took the lead early against the returning champions
1-0 with a goal from Caroline S. In the second half, Abbie M pulled
off an amazing goal in the air banking the ball off her knee through the
keeper's hands to put Impact ahead 2-0. Late in the second half, SJEB
put a goal in against Kenna R, but ran out of steam after that, and
Impact's powerful midfield and fast forwards kept the ball in South
Jersey's half for the rest of the game.
Impact won, outscoring their opponents 17-6, fighting tough teams the whole way, and bringing home the gold.
Well done Impact!
Impact is coached by Steve Snyder, assisted by Mike Raich and Chris Selkirk.