Junior Irish Girls soccer team gearing up to compete for a national championship
They competed for state titles this year, and now they're competing for a national championship.
The Junior Irish Girls Club soccer team is traveling to Florida to compete this weekend.
We spoke to players and coaches during their final practice tonight.
They are full of excitement and ready to compete. This team is comprised of first years and sophomores throughout Michiana schools.
It's one of many teams in the club.
They had eight wins, one loss, and one tie during the summer to win the Midwest division. Now, they have a chance to win the club's first national title.
Sharpening their skills before heading to Florida, these girls are comprised of players from different local high schools.
“It’s almost like an all-star group,” said Ken Nuber, Junior Irish Executive Director. “What we do here at Jr. Irish, we try to take the best of the best from this area.”
They may have competed against each other in school, but finding chemistry together is a tough task for head coach Jesse Urquhart.
“It can be a challenge bringing in players from a different clubs and different high schools,” said Urquhart. “For them to be able to come together and train a couple days a week and goes 8-1-1 in a summer season. It speaks not only to their level of commitment, but their skill and ability.”
“It was pretty difficult at the beginning, because there are a lot of different groups but right now we are a strong team,” said Ellie Hague, first year at Penn High School.
Ellie Hague is in her first year with the Junior Irish but says she's quickly felt at home.
“This club is my family,” said Hague. “These girls have given me friendships that you can’t get anywhere else and it’s just really special you get to play with them.”
With each drill, the coaches design this club to elevate the players and their skills.
“The club strives to give all of our players an opportunity to not only develop as soccer players and individuals, but be scene on a national level,” said Urquhart.
“This is an opportunity to expose them to a national base of college coaches down in Florida that will be there,” said Nuber.
Above all else, they want them to have fun.
“For me, the most important thing is they go down and enjoy themselves,” said Urquhart. “They have fun regardless of the result, that they enjoy the experience.”
“Just go there and play and win as many games as possible,” said Anna Borkowski, John Adams. “Win the championship and have fun.”
To get to the national championship game, they still have to win a number of games in a 12-team tournament.
Their first game will be this Friday. They will square off against a team from Morgantown, West Virginia.