How does a group of girls who start to play soccer together at U6 fundamentals reach the State Finals at age 11?
Answer: From the U7 years of soccer development through this past weekend, each player shows a constant drive for continuous improvement, the player parents show support throughout the soccer season, the coaches focus on player development and team effort and finally our leader, Michael Blanch who holds us all together. Here is our story for the past two weekends.
Essex County playoffs were scheduled over the weekend of June 16th where Team DiLuigi played 4 soccer games over 4 days and won to earn the title of Essex County Champions, U12 Girls Division 2. This team had no goals scored against for the entire weekend. Our incredible goalie played with a cool, calm collectiveness as our defense was strong and consistent, our mid-fielders transition the field well and our offense finished on 17 goals for over the four games. That placed team DiLuigi in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions also called MTOC.
Team DiLuigi went through the MTOC tournament with 2 wins and 1 tie advancing them to the semi-finals on Sunday, June 24th. The team did plan to walk the North Shore Medical Center Cancer Walk and had raised money through their traditional cookie sales, “Cookies For A Cure”, but could not walk so 3 soccer Moms got up and walked at 6:30 to make the semi-final game for 10:00 in Lancaster. Team DiLuigi, playing 2 players down due to family vacations won the semi-final in a hard fought battle against Wakefield 2-1 and advanced to the U12 Girls Division 2 finals. DiLuigi is not the most athletic team, we are not the biggest team, however we are skilled soccer players thanks to our coaches, we are all U12 junior players (youngest at MTOC), we are flexible in team formation which worked to our advantage and we play united as a team – together with a common purpose. DiLuigi met up with Medway who also went undefeated throughout the MTOC weekend and worked hard through a 1-0 half-time score, Medway was up by 1 goal. The second half fatigue set in and Medway was able to score 3 more goals ending the game 4-0. Nine soccer games in eleven days span….We are proud of our U12 girls, youngest team at the MTOC final four. Ranked second U12 girls team in Division 2 in the state – Congratulations girls on a job well done.
Michael Blanch, Gene Baker and Sharon Clement
Riley Baker, Erica Blanch, Madison Capezzuto, Hailey Chisholm, Lauren Clement, Ava Daly, Jessica Davis, Samantha Grenier, Devin Lawrence, Gracie Leete, Reagan O’Shea, Jessica Pelletier and Madison Pesce.