Re-Cap of the first 2020/21 winter indoor tournament at Spooky Nook sports on 12.5.20.
On Saturday December 5th we travelled out to Lancaster, PA for the first of our Winter Indoor Tournaments. With a record 96 athletes travelling with us this year we have grown as a club to 12 travel teams. Two in the U14 division and five each in U16 and U19. With the club spread out over the tournament we had a team in each pool bar 3 for the entire day. The day started before the sun could fully rise with both U14 teams, Blue & White, along with U16 Blue playing in the top U16 division of the day with the rest of the teams filling out the rest of the day.
U14 White started their young campaign against the always strong club of High Styx, dropping only one goal to lose the first one 0-1. The competition didn’t let up as Kryptonite handed them a 4 goal loss in the second game. The scoring started when Maggie Gentile scored the first of her two on the day as they tied the third game against RAM 1-1. Maggie scored again in their final game of the tournament against the Baltimore powerhouse Ballyhoo but they weren't able to stem the flow of goals against and they ended up losing the last game 4-1 for a record of 0-3-1. For having a team composed of mostly first year players U14 white had a very strong first ever tournament!
U14 Blue had an advantage to start this tournament as they had most of the remaining defending National Championship Team with experience from last year. Veterans Mia Brinkley (2) and Sophia Hershberger (1) lead the team to a 3-0 victory to start the tournament against Souderton Strikers. The momentum carried as they played back-to-back games with the second against High Styx. A commanding 5 goal shutout from U14 blue put them in high spirits as Mia got another two goals, with Ava Williams (1) and Josie Schomburg (1) getting in on the action and Venom freshman Anvi Chopra getting her first Venom goal. The final group game was against TNT and this was a warm-up game for the tournament final. TNT put up a strong defense and all Venom attacks were rebuked. A nasty deflection gave them the edge to win the first game 1-0. The very next game was a rematch against TNT for the tournament championship. An early goal from Mia Brinkley was an early beacon but with some unfortunate bounces and some defensive miscues let the championship slip through their fingers as when the final whistle sounded the scoreline was Venom U14 Blue 1-4 TNT for a tournament 2nd place with a record of 2-2-0.
U16 Blue started with the first whistle of the day going up against High Styx. The goals came fast and furious with the Short Corners working and Ava Hershberger getting an early Hat-Trick. The ball was being moved well from the Venom side and with dominating play the relentless offence produced another Ava goal as well as Isabella Arnold getting her first of the day. The game ended with a 5-1 scoreline. Alley Cats from Palmyra, PA were next who proved to be tougher competition as the game was deadlocked with neither team gaining a significant scoring opportunity. Julia DeFoggia broke the tie on a perfectly placed Short Corner flick and then followed up again shortly afterwards. Goalkeeper Jordan Ashbaugh helmed a solid defence and kept the shutout ending the game 2-0. Baltimore’s Ballyhoo were next up and this ended up being an even more shut down game. With both goalies standing on their heads making crucial saves the goals slowly went in with Abby Hershberger joining the score sheet and Bella Arnold getting her second of the day. One great play from Ballyhoo ruined the shutout but the Venom defense stayed strong with Callie Rautenbach and Dani Deer standing strong in front of Goalie Ashbaugh. Rolling into the last game of the tournament against United FHC the momentum was with the Venom girls. With a dominating 5-0 game, Ava (2), Bella, Abby and with her first Venom goal Sofia Boyle put in the 5 goals for the tournament championship win. aCongratulations for the first set of medals going undefeated 4-0-0 and taking the U16 Pool E Championship!
U16 White started their campaign similarly against High Styx but were unfortunate as the 1-0 result went the way of High Styx. Not to be deterred, PAAC Blue were next, Isabella Elm & Mia Brinkley slotted two goals in while Goalkeeper Kayla Joyce kept the house safe as they shut out PAAC to make their record 1-1. The third game was against Ballyhoo and even with a Mia Brinkley goal the defence couldn’t keep the well drilled Baltimore club from the scoresheet and they dropped the third game 1-3. Souderton Strikers capped the tournament off with a 0-4 loss but seeing as this was the first excursion for this squad together, a great base to work on for the rest of the season after a 1-3-0 record.
U16 Black started against PAAC with a few unfortunate attacks against the fellow PA team but in a solid effort they kept the ball out to limit it to a 0-2 loss. They then rallied in the next game to tie Ballyhoo 1-1 with Ava Williams scoring her first U16 goal to save some points for the team. PA United & Kryptonite found the seams in the newly formed team by putting in 3 and 4 goals respectively. The scoreline’s don’t reflect the growth shown in the tournament. Great link up passing around the defenders shows the potential for goal scoring in the next tournament while they finished 0-3-1.
U16 Gold are another newly formed squad who found their match in the first game against Gold Rush who tied 0-0 in a back and forth game. High Styx was up next but couldn’t get past goalie Jordi Kennedy but unfortunately the forwards also could score and they ended the second like the first 0-0. PA United was the next team to come up against the stout Venom defense. With balls flying past the far post neither team could get the final finishing touch and the third game ended in another 0-0 tie. RAM stepped up to the plate to see if they could score on the U16 Gold team. Goalkeeper Caroline Sarneso stopped every single shot she faced in this tournament ending the final game with her 4th shutout. With no goals being scored on either side they put in an undefeated 4 shutout effort to end the tournament 0-0-4.
For U16 Grey, RAM were up first in a shock to the system as they started the tournament on the backfoot dropping the first game to the eventual tournament winners 0-6. After getting to tournament speed the Venom team stepped up and in a gripping match against PA United. The Venom attacks were fruitless and one well placed United shot put the PA rivals up 1-0 and taking the close win. Building on the progress from the last tournament Alison Cournoyer scored a great goal while goalkeeper Caroline Sarneso got another shutout to end the third game 1-0. The dangerous High Styx were our last opponents and the U16 Grey team stepped up to the challenge, a tense game ended with Venom on the wrong side of a 0-2 scoreline ending the tournament 1-3-0.
U19 Grey kicked off the U19 division going up against Kryptonite. Getting their feet under them proved slow as Kryptonite, eventual finalists, put in a 3 goal effort whilst keeping the Venom forwards off the scoresheet. Ballyhoo’s second team couldn’t keep us from scoring as Madeline Holmes got her first in a Venom jersey. Unfortunately that was the only goal of their campaign as they dropped the second game 1-3. High Styx was the last pool game before playoffs and after looking to rebound the structure broke down and High Styx came off top with a 4 goal effort sending U19 Grey into the playoffs 4th. The crossover opponents were Gold Rush, with fome fruitless attempts at goal no Venom player could find the backboards and dropped the last game to go 0-4-0 in the tournament. Unfortunate results as the teams kept improving throughout the day.
U19 Gold (U16 Blue) kicked off their first game back-to-back from their last U16 game. After running on the high of their first championship they stayed in full gear against Gold Rush putting an impressive 6 goals in with rookie indoor player Ruby Jacops getting her first two goals with other efforts by Abby Hershberger, Ava Hershberger and a stunning two goals from Isabella Arnold who picked up any pass across goal to take a commanding lead in the pool. PAAC gave them a scare as all the bounces and some mental lapses allowed 2 goals against us. After collecting themselves Ava Hershberger managed to put in two great goals to keep their undefeated streak going as the final whistle blew and the score was 2-2. After a wake-up call for the potential of this team they came storming out of the gate against RAM stunning them for another 6 goals with one unfortunate bounce beating goalie Jordan Ashbaugh. With goals from Bella Arnold, Sofia Boyle, Ruby Jacops, Ava Hershberger and two from Abby Hershberger the U16 Blue team was top of the pool going into the playoff final for the medals. Going up against Kryptonite that defeated U19 Grey they knew what was ahead of them. Some shut down play from the defence and goalkeeper Ashbaugh keeping the scoresheet the Venom goals started to go in. Rookie Ruby Jacops put in her 4th of the day as well as Bella Arnold getting her 7th secured the second straight championship but this time in the U19 division! Congratulations for your Back-To-Back championships going a record 7-0-1 in an undefeated double.
U19 Black were thrust into a very difficult position as with scheduling they got placed into the 2nd tier division going up against some tough opponents who were established teams. Getting themselves together for the first time together they took the court against host Nook Hockey. After dropping the first game 0-9 they composed themselves and rallied together for a much better performance against Nook White only losing 0-3. After having to go back-to-back they kept themselves together and put in a similarly strong performance keeping the tough opponents of PAAC. The day finished on a sour note as the Palmyra, PA club team of Alley Cats punished the structure putting in 8 goals sending the team winless with a record of 0-4-0. With the odds stacked against this team they can be proud of their performance and the progress and resilience they showed late in the day.
U19 White lined up beside U19 Blue in the top U19 division looking to prove their metal. The first game was back and forth with a flurry of goals going in either end. Marnie McCormick, May Wymard & Sophia Bovino all got on the scorecard but the Baltimore Ballyhoo’s put in one more to hand them a 3-4 loss in their first outing together. Reeling having to go back-to-back fatigue set in as they couldn’t break the PAAC defense dropping the second game 0-5. With the prospect of a second back-to-back set of games they came into the third game cautiously which proved to be their downfall as the well drilled High Styx team held them to a shutout whilst they put in 3 of their own. After collecting themselves they were then up against the fearsome Alley Cats who sported a very talented boy to add to the talent on the court. After a knee crunching skillful goalkeeper slide Caroline Sarneso kept the U19 White team very much in the game keeping the opponents to 2 goals only. Marnie McCormick and Marley Pistella got glory for Venom in their final game of the tournament to secure the elusive tie that evaded the U19 Blue team finishing the tournament 0-3-1.
U19 Blue came rocketing out of the gate against PAAC winning their first with goals from Ava Hershberger and Fiona Kortyna but a very unlucky bounce ruined the shutout for Gwen Hershberger but after a last second diving sliding save she kept them from scoring two to secure the win 2-1. High Styx proved to be equally good opponents as a back and forth game kept the tension high as neither team could find the cracks in each other's defense. After a flurry of Short Corners the scoreline remained 0-0 to the end. Alley Cats were third up and they showed their presence as they put in 4 past the strong defense with fast stick handling and well timed flicks. Ava Hershberger managed to get a consolation goal but it was too late and they handed U19 Blue their first loss. The final game came at the end of the day against Ballyhoo’s top team. Lack of communication and fatigue played a big part in the 0-4 loss but those four goals came in the first 5 mins. After shaking the fog off the team came alive but to no avail, The scoreline remained 0-4 for the rest of the game ending their tournament at a record of 1-2-1.
Congratulations to every single team and person for the effort and energy you put into your games. You should be proud of what you have done in what is the first of the tournaments this season. On to 2021!
U16 Blue & U19 Gold