By Kevin Perrington-Turner, Contributing Author
The FC Stars ECNL White team celebrates after winning a national championship of the XX. U14 of the super group.
SHREWSBURY / NORTHBOROUGH – A handful of local residents helped their soccer team win a national championship in Colorado last month.
The girls’ youth club FC Stars ECNL White won the championship of the National Cup XX U14 Super Group with a 1-0 win over Real Colorado in a final in Denver.
The team is coached by Mike Foley and is based in Lancaster. Before the National Cup, they competed in the Massachusetts Regional Cup in April. They played four single-elimination games in the tournament and eventually won a state championship and a ticket to Colorado.
Caroline Kelleher of Shrewsbury will be attending Worcester Academy next year and appreciates the experience she had of this tournament run in her final season before high school.
“It was honestly crazy,” she said. “We have been working to reach the National League for three years so it was a lifelong experience to go out there. For the next season all teams will change, so we wanted one last run as a team and we all wanted that so badly. “
Despite the pandemic reshaping their season, the team found a way to get things going and improve their skills. They wore masks, took temperatures, and followed other known protocols.
“With the pandemic, we had to make zoom calls and dribble on zoom calls,” Kelleher said. “It was really difficult for us to practice. Before the training started, we all trained together on the field. We tried to make the best of it. “
Natalie Alverenga from Northborough will be in eighth grade next year. She also enjoyed her experience in Colorado.
“When I got there, I couldn’t really believe it because I’ve never been to a place like this,” she said. “I was just excited, happy, and nervous because it was a pretty big deal. We played against tough competition. “
Although Alverenga may soon face opponents older than her, she is confident of what the future holds for her.
“I think with the way this season goes and my performance, I’m pretty hopeful about my football career,” she said. “I had to pay more attention to it because it was difficult to practice over a zoom call.”
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