OHIO ELITE SHOWCASE
The Kentucky Fire Juniors 96 and 98 girls competed in the Ohio Elite Showcase February 22 - February 24. The showcase was the first outdoor event of the spring season for both teams. The 96 girls ended the weekend going 1-1-1. On the morning of the 23rd, the team defeated Crystal Lake (Illinois) 2-0, getting goals from Mia Wiersma and Hannah Jaggers. The team enjoyed lots of possession and controlled the tempo of the game. In the afternoon, the team suffered a 2-0 loss to a very talented North Shore United (Wisconsin). After falling behind 1-0 midway through the first half, KFJ created several dangerous attempts on goal before the half, but were unable to convert. North Shore scored a second goal late in the game, securing the victory. On Sunday the 24th, the team earned a 0-0 draw against FCX North Black (Illinois). Goalkeeper Jessica Deschamps led a stingy defensive effort by KFJ, earning a second clean sheet of the weekend. Overall, the showcase was a positive event for the team and proved to be a good start to the spring season.
The 98 girls finished the weekend 1-2 after playing some of the top teams in the region. On Friday, the 22nd, the team lost 1-0 to the Ohio Premier ECNL Team on a second half penalty kick. Goalkeeper Caitlynn Mason saved a first half PK awarded to OP, but the team couldn't overcome another penalty kick in the second half and that goal from the spot proved to be the difference in the game. On Saturday the 23rd, the team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (Michigan) after conceding a second half goal from a corner kick. Both teams defenses dominated the game, as quality goal scoring chances were hard to come by. On Sunday, the 24th, KFJ defeated Ohio Elite ECNL 2-0 behind goals from Katie Williams and Keyli Boarman. Despite not scoring, forward Ashley Ritchie led the attack, creating several goal scoring chances and causing trouble for the opponents defense all day. Goalkeepers Caitlynn Mason and Molly Shroering combined to earn the shutout.
Both teams begin their MRL season on Sunday, March 10.