A number of teams from the all-female Tophat Soccer Club of Buckhead won age group championships at the Georgia State Cup soccer tournament in Columbus May 24 through June 2.
The Tophat 14 Gold team won the girls’ U18 championship, while 16 Gold (girls’ 15U), 17 Gold (girls’ U14) and 18 Gold (girls’ U13) were the other age group winners at the annual club soccer event.
With their age group victories, the Tophat squads advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III (South) tournament in Edmond, Okla., a suburb of Oklahoma City, June 20 through 27.
The 14 Gold squad defeated NASA 14 Elite of east Cobb 2-1 after winning a penalty-kick shootout 4-2 in the finals.
Liza Lingenfelter, a rising senior standout at Westminster, produced the winning penalty kick, while Grant Wilmer (Holy Innocents’) scored the lone goal in regulation for 14 Gold.
“The kids are working hard in practice,” 14 Gold coach Ted Colburn said. “Their fitness level is high and the biggest challenge this time of the year is taking a group of girls who have all played for different high schools and getting the chemistry back. But, they’re working hard to get that chemistry back.
“Our team emphasizes quick passing, especially through our midfield, and when we haven’t trained together – because of high school [soccer] – it’s tough for us to get that back right away. But, we’re starting to get that rhythm back. The kids are getting better every day and I think we have a chance to make something happen at regionals.”
Other 14 Gold player include Sheridan Nulty (Westminster), Rachael Western and Kimberlin Rogers (Lovett), Kaitlyn Orman and Kirby Retherford (St. Pius X), Stephanie Krouskos (Marist) and Teresa Durham (North Atlanta).
The Tophat 16 Gold team won the girls’ U15 title with a 2-1 win over SSA Chelsea 486 Elite of Marietta in the finals.
“We have had a very successful season,” 16 Gold coach Cathy Briede said. “We are looking forward to continuing our success and representing Georgia in Oklahoma City at Regionals.”
Players for 16 Gold include Miller Leeson, Logue Shamburger and Taylor Penn (Westminster), Grace Jackson and Alexandra Lourie (Lovett) and Alex Plavin (Riverwood).
The Tophat 17 Gold team beat United FA 99 Elite of Cumming 1-0 in overtime in the girls’ U14 finals.
Tophat 18 Gold won the girls’ U13 title with a 2-1 victory over United FA Elite in the finals.