RENO, Nev. — The American River Futbol Club U14 girls soccer team, Freedom ’98, placed second at their first tournament of the season, the Zephyr Cup. Freedom, now in its fourth season, features players from both El Dorado and Sacramento counties.
Freedom won its first two games by shutouts. In the first, Freedom beat the Elk Grove Renegades, 6-0. Goalkeepers Shannon Fuchs and Alexa Gisin and a tenacious defense were the keys to the match. Scorers included Paige Garvey with two goals and one goal each from Natalie Cowlishaw, Riley West, Megan Williams and Madison Jana.
In the second game, Freedom defeated Nevada’s Elite ’98 2-0 with Taryn Perez and Megan Williams scoring. The wins continued in its third outing as Freedom posted a 3-2 win over Sagebrush SC Rattlers. Scoring goals were Gabriella O’Conner, Jana and Sarah Kelly.
The victories advanced Freedom to the finals. The girls played a strong aggressive, possession style game against a physical Union City’s Alliance Devils 98 that won 4-3 in sudden death. Alliance scored twice in the first half, but Freedom came back quickly in the second half with goals from Cowlishaw and Olivia Teerlink to tie it 2-all.
Toward the end Alliance scored again but Freedom’s Hannah Lewandowski made a fabulous shot to tie the game at 3-all. After two, 5-minute overtimes, the teams went to penalty kicks with Gisin in the box. Both teams went through the first five players with no resolve, then switched to sudden death where Alliance ultimately prevailed.