ECNL Girls Texas Cup Champions: Sting Dallas Black 08
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Ten days ago, before last weekend’s ECNL Girls event in Phoenix, the best teams in the Texas Conference headed to Dallas for the first edition of the Texas Cup. The recently created event featured the top four teams in each…
Ten days ago, before last weekend’s ECNL Girls event in Phoenix, the best teams in the Texas Conference headed to Dallas for the first edition of the Texas Cup.
The recently created event featured the top four teams in each age group of the Texas Conference Cup and rewarded the champions with a spot in the ECNL Playoffs, in June.
Let’s take a deeper look into some of the teams that triumphed in Dallas and secured a spot in the playoffs:
Sting Dallas Black 08
The Dallas club were the winners in the 08s division, which needed PKs to determine the champions. Sting Black topped Real Colorado National 1-0 in the semifinals and triumphed over Solar 4-2 in the penalty shootout following a 1-1 tie in regulation.
The goalkeeper was a critical piece in the team’s victory, keeping a clean sheet in the semifinals and making a save in the penalty shootout that determined the champions. Swadener is very reliable between the posts and much of her consistency comes from her mental strength, which allows her to remain calm and confident in any situation. She’s also very technical and intelligent and rarely misjudges a shot, always making the right move to get the stop. Swadener is also a vocal leader for Sting, often communicating with the defenders in front of her.
Liner and fellow center backhave been rock solid for Sting during the entire season and that showed again in the Texas Cup, when they only let a goal in. She’s very complete defensively, being capable of dominating opponents with her physical tools, but is also a very technical and intelligent defender, who reads the game well and makes great choices with her defensive actions. Liner is very strong in the air on both penalty boxes and is also productive in possession, picking her passes well and connecting the vast majority of them.
The heart of Sting Black’s midfield, Flanagan came up big offensively for the team in the Texas Cup, scoring the game-winner in the semifinal and converting her penalty kick in the shootout. She’s a real engine in midfield, covering a lot of ground and playing with great intensity on both sides of the ball. Flanagan is a hard-nosed defensive player, who works hard to win the ball, but she also knows very well what to do with it, connecting good passes and accelerating the game in the attacking field. She also likes to catch opponents off guard with her runs through the middle of the field.
A very dangerous wide player, Chaump scored Sting Black’s goal in the final against Solar. Very quick, yet physical, she is a player who makes the most of the space given to her, making dangerous runs with and without the ball. The winger has great quality on the ball and a very high soccer IQ, which allows her to find good solutions to plays and execute them well. She also plays an important role for her team by getting on the end of long passes when they need to play direct.
A very complete and versatile offensive player, Simpson can play and perform well in any attacking position thanks to her great skill set. Despite not being very big, she can create problems at striker with her pace and movement, but is at her best playing off of a more physical striker or in wide positions. Simpson’s quick thinking always puts her in a position to beat opponents in open play and the fact that she can pass and finish very well with either foot just makes her more difficult to defend. She assisted Chaump in the team’s goal against Solar and also converted her penalty kick attempt.