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Sports Article
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Valley Voodoo Finish Third at National Tourney
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer


            Despite a slow start, the Valley Voodoo rallied for consecutive victories to finish third in the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup earlier this month. The Voodoo, a 15u girls soccer team from the Valley Soccer Club, posted consecutive wins over a team from North Carolina at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

            "Finishing third in the nation is awesome," head coach Carla Sokel said. "I think the girls played real well."

            The Voodoo, which includes nine students living in the Upper Perkiomen School District, went 1-3 in pool play during the tournament, which started July 10. They opened with consecutive 2-1 losses to the Sporting Iowa 2004 Academy Valley and Beach FC (California).
"Both of those matches could have gone either way," said Sokel, who was assisted by Don Powers and Kevin Sheahan.

            On Day three, they posted a 2-0 win over the WG Burgundy Rapids. In the rematch, on July 14, they won by an identical score in the consolation game.

            Sarah Fisher scored both goals. Karly Sheahan and Elizabeth Proctor each earned an assist. Goalkeeper Giana Deskevich posted the shutout. 

            Fisher received the Golden Boot award for Top scorer, with four goals. She and Deskevich were named to Top 11 Team for the national tournament. 

            Kyra Lesko finished with one goal and two assists for the Voodoo.  Sara Edwards scored once. The coach highlighted the defensive play of Summer Smith, Rylie Pinkerton and Lauren Powers. 

            According to Sokel, the players handled the high level of competition extremely well. 
"The girls were excited to play," she said. "They did not seem to be nervous, but they were so excited to be in this moment."

            The teams from Iowa and California provided the biggest challenges, according to Sokel. She said their players were very quick and especially good in transition.  "They forced us to make a couple adjustments," the coach said.

            During their down time, the players made the 30 minute journey to Nashville with their parents, spent time at a hotel pool and did yoga together, according to Sokel. She said that one night at dinner, the players were ate together and were directed to figure out how much of the bill they owed.

            The Voodoo became the first team in club history to qualify for the national tournament by winning the 2019 US Youth Soccer Eastern Presidents Cup last month. 

            All but two of the players will continue to play together for the club next season, according to Sokel.

            She said all nine of the players from Upper Perkiomen have the level of talent to play varsity soccer. The coach said she's not sure that all six girls going to ninth grade will play this year.

            "I think they all will be playing by their sophomore seasons," she said. "This group has been playing together for a very long time at a very high level. They will fit right into the high school program."






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