Henrico, Va. – Kaitryn Malley, Hailey Ayers, Marisa Fischer and Eva Ellis were all on target as the Alexandria 05 Girls Red defeated the VA 05 Girls Rush 4-0 in the U-14 Premier Division Final of the Capital Fall Classic.
The win grants Alexandria automatic qualification to the centerpiece of the Richmond Strikers Tournament Series, the prestigious Jefferson Cup.
“We’re super pumped,” Alexandria head coach William Hannaresponded when asked what it meant to qualify for the Jefferson Cup. “We’ve been working hard all season long and it’s nice to peak at the right moment. [To peak] at the end of the season shows a lot of maturity from the girls.”
Despite the 4-0 scoreline, Rush battled hard to the end of what remained a relatively even game most of the way, but ultimately Alexandria’s efficiency in front of goal proved decisive.
“Not a lot of difference,” Hanna replied when asked what the separating factor was between the Rush and his Alexandria side. “But I felt like my girls really came into this game with a lot of focus and concentration and they were committed to executing our game plan.”
Hanna, always knew his team was capable of putting in master-class performances, but has felt that at times throughout the season, his ladies came into games without the right mind-set. Today was proof, that when the energy is channeled properly, his side can compete with anyone.
Even more impressive than the four goals in the final or the fact that they only conceded once all tournament, was the style Alexandria played. The girls were committed to building the ball out of the back no matter the pressure or situation.
“At Alexandria, it’s how we teach all of our teams to play,” Hanna said of his club’s modus operandi. “[We play] With a possession based style, to build from the back patiently to try and get numbers forward. The girls really committed to that style all weekend long and they got better in each of the games this weekend. So, I am really proud of them.”
Hanna was so happy with his team’s performance that he told them in the huddle after the final whistle that it was the best they played all season.
“We didn’t stray away from what our game-plan was,” Hana responded when asked why he told the girls it was the best he had seen them play. “We stayed focused and committed to possessing the ball patiently and switching the ball from side to side. So, I’m proud of them for that and [for] handling the pressure. Sometimes you get in these situations, you want to start knocking it long because your stressed out and they stayed composed and focused on the game plan.”
If the Alexandria 05 Girls Red continue to enter games with the proper mind-set and stay true to their philosophy of building out of the back in order to get numbers forward, they will be a major challenge for their future opponents at the Jefferson Cup this spring.
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