Back row, left to right-Head Coach Liz Villamil, Jordynn Miller, Olivia Seamans, Morgan Loder, Alison Romer, Nicole Meddaugh, Monica Rouse, Nicole Senecal, Mackenzie Hinchliffe, Kaleigh Fowler, Assistant Coach Garrett Cobb
Front row, left to right-Natalia Romanzo, Brittany LaPlant, Taryn More, Lindsay Mulligan, Cassandra Robataille, Madeline Saccocio, Kelsey Moss, Brianna Feldmaier
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 18, 2013-The third time was the charm for the Capital United Blue Fusion of the Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL) and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) when the Regional Presidents Cup champions played in the National Presidents Cup for the third consecutive year. Unlike their two previous appearances in Nationals, Capital United made it to the championship game and are bringing back the national championship to Albany. At Girls-Under-17, this was Capital United’s last chance to win the National Presidents Cup and the Blue Fusion came through.
"We are very happy to be able to bring the Presidents Cup national title back home to New York," commented Capital United coach Liz Villamil. "The previous two years were tough, coming to this tournament and knowing you have the potential to become a champion, but we weren’t able to bring home the title. The girls were determined not to let that happen this year."
At the competition in Auburndale, Florida from July 10 to 14, Washington State’s Eastside FC was the best side in round-robin play, winning the four-team group with a 3-0-0 record including a 2-1 win over Capital United. But the New Yorkers, who finished 1-1-1 in second place, came out on top in the championship game with an emphatic 3-0 win over Eastside. Brittany LaPlant opened the scoring in the 29th minute and Taryn More tallied in the 73rd minute off a direct kick by the corner flag. LaPlant provided the insurance goal at the end of the game as keeper Cassandra Robataille earned the shutout.
"The difference between our first game against Eastside and the second is in the finals, our technical execution, defensive composure and overall play improved," said Coach Villamil.
Of the nine Presidents Cup games that Capital United played, they finished 7-1-1 and scored 40 goals while conceding eight. Eastern New York once again donated $2,000 to Capital United to defray their travel expenses.
"It feels great to win a national title because this is our third year at Nationals and each year, we got closer and closer," LaPlant said. "We just wanted it so bad and we had a feeling that if we put our all in and gave 110%, we could come out on top."
Capital United was coached by the father-and-daughter combination of Keith and Liz Villamil until Keith’s passing last December. The team wears a black patch on the front of their shirt with the name "KEITH" in his memory.
"My Dad was instrumental in both the collective and individual development of the team and players over many years," Coach Villamil said. "His tutelage, dedication and knowledge have fostered the team’s growth and provided the players with an opportunity to compete at and be successful in this high level competition."
The national champions will remain together and continue to train over the next year. They will participate in college showcase events as well as other top tournaments.
So a storybook ending for Capital United except that they had to return to New York and did not have a chance, as other champions do, to celebrate their hard-earned championship at Disney World.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.