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16

Jun, 2013

Girls Soccer Squad Claims Tournament Championship

No fear. That was the gist of Rob Esposto’s message to members of the PA Crew Academy U11 Premier girls soccer team prior to its title game match at the FC Delco Players Cup last month. His players took it to heart, then went out and won a championship. Crew defeated Rage Soccer Club of Leesport, located near Reading, 3-1 and was crowned undefeated champion of the 8-on-8 event, held in Downingtown over Memorial Day weekend. The squad was made up of players from several school districts, including Seneca Valley, Mars, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Butler and Freeport. “I took over the team in November,” said Esposto. “The biggest thing that stood out for me was the improvement that the girls made since last fall. They matured and showed a lot of heart.” Crew took a big step forward by placing second at a tournament in Cincinnati in April. At the FC Delco event, the team defeated its first four opponents by a combined score of 9-4. But as the team’s members watched Rage in the other semifinal game, morale began to wane. “They were one of the biggest U11 teams I’d ever seen,” said Esposto. “They had some tall girls and our players were a bit scared at the thought of playing them. “I told them, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? You play and don’t win. Just go out, give the best possible effort you can and whatever happens, happens.’” The next day, despite not having the size that Rage possessed, Crew proved to be the superior team. “When the game was over, the girls were very, very excited,” said Esposto. “They know how to celebrate. Whether it’s after a goal or after a win, they celebrate as a team, which is nice. “Between offense, defense and the goalie, all areas of the team contributed,” he added. “That’s what we needed because soccer is a team sport.” Though the tournament season is now over, the next one begins in August. Esposto expects the majority of this group to stick together and compete for more titles, beginning with U12 play. “It’s a great group of kids who just love soccer,” he said.
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