Both teams took the field less than 24 hours after lightning delays pushed back the U17 semifinals, leading to a plodding, tired affair between the Hawks and Force.
Drama took the forefront once again when Catherine Dager beat the offside trap, latching onto a driven long ball from one of the Michigan center backs. De Anza’s goalkeeper stopped Dager’s initial effort, but she followed up to slot home and put the Hawks on top in extra time.
A fascinating tactical battle between De Anza’s whirring possession machine and Michigan’s effective counter attacking, the fatigue certainly left its mark on both sides. Michigan’s attackers Alexxis Lipsey and Grace Krygler looked to take advantage of opening on the break, with Lipsey coming close on more than one occasion during the first 90 minutes.
Golden chances were few and far between. Michigan’s Sarah Clark fired a dangerous free kick into the wall.Luca Deza got on the end of a Samantha Tran cut back, only to spurn it high of the goal in the second half, in what turned out to be one of De Anza’s best chances of the game.
As the game progressed, Deza looked the most likely to create for the Force, though Michigan’s impressive back line was consistently up to the task. Abby Willerer led the effort from central defense, with Jaimie Leas solid and steady in goal.
In the end, Dager’s effort proved to be enough, as the Hawks held on over the final 10 minutes of extra time to kick off the celebrations.
Congratulations to Coach Doug Landefeld and the U17 Hawks for beating De Anza Force in the ECNL National Championship. The Hawks won in double overtime 1 - 0.
Congratulations girls on adding another star!!
Our Wolves-Hawks crest will now have 13 stars to represent the 13 National titles our teams have won!