MARYSVILLE – Training young athletes to perform with both skill and sportsmanship can be a tough task, but for the Marysville Force U11 girls select team, it seemed to come naturally.
The Force is a team of 12 girls, the youngest being 9 years old and the oldest being 11 years old, who managed to finish their season undefeated with only two ties all year. They are gearing up for the state cup in late March, but are excited about their season record.
“Our last game was on Dec. 2, and we finished with 10 wins, two ties and zero losses,” said head coach Kelly Huestis. “The interesting part of the story is that these kids didn’t come from the same team. We had a mixture of players come together, including three players from a younger team playing up.”
This was the first season that the Marysville Youth Soccer Club had a select team, pioneered by Huestis, who also serves as the director of development for the club.
“I guess when we set out to do this, it was never about the wins,” said Huestis. “We just focused on development and wins are the product of hard work. The team was always there to have a great time, they are constantly working as hard as they can. That’s something for me to be proud of. They are a good group of girls who like to play the game and respected the game.”
Jennifer Schoos is one of the Force players who helped make it a successful season.
“As a player I thought it was pretty cool to be undefeated because we worked together,” said Schoos. “As a goalkeeper I worked to stop as many goals as I could, and we only let in eight all season.”
Schoos’s mother Aimee Cobb is proud of her daughter and their team.
“I think the girls did really good. It didn’t take them multiple practices to click, they clicked from day one,” she said.
Taylor Amos is another player on the team, who credits the coaching skills of Huestis for building a strong team.
“Kelly really wanted us to work on controlling the ball, passing and making sure that we talked to each other so the person getting the pass would be alert,” she said. “We learned to work as a team and not as an individual. We always do our best and work as a team — Kelly told us that’s what we need to be successful.”
Amos’s father Jared Amos also commended Huestis on his talent.
“Coach Kelly is an awesome coach,” he said. “My daughter has only been playing for two years and we’ve seen remarkable growth. He needs an extra shout-out.”
Mickayla Goshorn-Skelley has been playing on Huestis’s teams since kindergarten and loves the challenge of the game.
“I play all positions, but mostly mid-fielder,” she said. “We focused on getting straight passes and getting between the player and the ball. We also learned some new moves. All of our hard work has definitely paid off.”
Makensie Connelly is a forward on the team and thinks that the camaraderie of the Force helped them be successful.
“When we met the new team it was nerve-wracking at first. We are really close now. We pretty much act like sisters,” said Connelly. “My teammates are all really hard workers and they are fun to play with.”
Connelly’s dad, Bryant Connelly, had nothing but good words about the program.
“Coach Kelly and Coach Tony [Doll] did a great job,” he said. “It’s the first time Marysville had a select team, and to win almost every game says a lot about the character of the girls and of the team as a whole. It was a ton of fun and they did an amazing job. We’re not going anywhere.”
For more information about Marysville Youth Soccer Club log on to www.marysvillesoccer.com.