Cedar Valley Club Soccer U-16/U-17 team one win shy of national finals

The Cedar Valley Soccer Club U-16/U-17 girls soccer team finished second in their group at last week’s National Cup finals in Colorado. (Photo from Facebook)
Jake Ryder
The Grundy Register

COMMERCE CITY, COLORADO – The Cedar Valley Soccer Club’s U-16/U-17 girls soccer team finished second in Group B of the Girls U-17 Premier Division at last week’s 2022 US Club Soccer National Cup XXI Finals at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.

The team is comprised of 19 players from 11 different communities, including Ana Bering and Miranda Tyler from the Dike-New Hartford community, Alex Yoder from Grundy Center and Jada Blohm from Gladbrook-Reinbeck. D-NH girls soccer head coach Kat Bering is also co-head coach for the CVSC team with Micah McMorris.

"It's huge for this group of women, and it shows that Iowa is going to be something to deal with in soccer in the future," Kat Bering said. "We were one of several Iowa clubs represented there this year, which is huge. Iowa soccer in general is getting bigger, challenging for a lot more. It's big for soccer and big for Iowa."

On Thursday, July 14, the CVSC defeated the Concorde Fire club from Georgia, 1-0. On July 15, the CVSC girls defeated the Solar Soccer Club based out of Texas, 1-0.

In the group B final, the CVSC went up against Sting Austin, also based out of Texas. The Cedar Valley girls fell behind 2-0 and got back within 2-1 but couldn’t complete the comeback, as Sting Austin advanced as Group B champions and defeated STN NorthPenn from Pennsylvania 1-0 in the national finals.

"It was uplifting to know that the girls wanted to get back there, knew we could've been [in the finals]," Kat Bering said. "You could see on everyone's face the determination and that they pledged to get back next year."

Bering said the preparation for the tournament, whether the team was practicing together or apart, was key. On the times when the team couldn't practice together, the girls individually followed a training program.

"We competed as well as we did because everyone was accountable for themselves," Bering said. "And once we got together, we worked tactically to make sure we could compete and they did that. We knew we had to step up our aggressiveness to match teams that were physically bigger than any we've seen before. Our desire and passion, and want and will to win was a big deal."

The girls were also able to participate in a gold-panning teambuilding exercise in a mine in Colorado and enjoyed movie nights at the accomodations in Colorado to build their relationships off the pitch.

"It wasn't just a sporting event but a life experience," Kat Bering said. "And we couldn't have done this without the help from our chaperones keeping the girls on our meal plan and keeping the girls together. It was a great experience for a lot of girls that had never been out of Iowa or had never been to Colorado."

The team was making their first-ever national tournament appearance. To offset the costs of travel and other expenses for the tournament, the team started a crowdfunding page at gofund.me/309fb33d and has raised $2,245 of its $7,000 goal thus far.

"We're hoping to get as much covered on this trip as possible for the girls so they don't have to worry about it," Kat Bering said. "I'm super excited about what's to come with this group, as they're all sticking together. Fall season starts in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do. We're looking forward to doing it again and again when we can."



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