The Palmetto United U11 Girls 01 Maroon team won the South Carolina Youth Soccer State Cup on April 14.
More than 160 teams, with players ranging in age from U9 to U12, competed in Sumter for a chance to win the State Cup. PUFC opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over the LCSC 02 White from Lexington. In that game, Leah Schreiber scored on a cross from the right corner from Grace Johnson in the first half and Addison Partin scored from the top of the 18-foot mark with the winning goal after nearly 50 minutes of play to seal the victory.
As the weekend continued the Maroon team lost a close game 1-0 late on Saturday. Despite this loss, PUFC’s hopes of winning a championship were renewed due to other teams losing in their bracket. Those loses, coupled with their earlier 2-1 win gave PUFC an opportunity to advance to play SC United 01 Bronze of Columbia the following day for the right to play in the championship match.
Against the Bronze, Johnson scored from approximately 16 feet out in the first half when she received a deep ball, moved around the goalie and drove the ball in to the back of the net for PUFC’s lone goal and a 1-0 win.
In the Championship Game PUFC squared off against another Lexington County club team, LCSC 02 Kids Fight Cancer. This game proved to be everything that either team could have expected as after 60 minutes of regular play the game was still tied, 0-0. The regular session was a defensive showdown as the PUFC defenders – Rhianna Graham, Gracyn Caudle and Karina Black – pushed back every attempt by LCSC to score. In addition to allowing no goals in this game, PUFC goal keeper Isabella Giarrizzi gave up no goals on Sunday and only two for the entire tournament.
Midfielder Madison Reading matched up on LCSC’s best player and consistently stopped her from moving the ball down the field, while Parker Taylor played invaluable minutes off the bench down the stretch. Following the end of regulation the teams moved to a 10 minute overtime and with just over a minute left to play Schreiber scored on a chip shot from 18 feet over the keeper’s outstretched hands and the PUFC girls held on for a 1-0 victory and their first State Cup Championship.