Since the start of travel soccer at the U8 level, the 2011 girls program set an ambitious goal: to compete with the best programs in the state by establishing a model that focuses on developing every player in the program both on and off the field. At U13, with three teams competing in the competitive EDP league, the goal is becoming a reality.
The Severna Park FORCE Green team capped a great season as champions of the Columbia Fall Classic top bracket, winning all four games with a goal differential of 16 goals for and two against. This comes after winning the championship the week before at the Raleigh Girls Junior Showcase and finishing tied for second in the first division of their EDP league.
The Severna Park FORCE White team also enjoyed success at the Columbia Fall Classic, finishing as champions of the second bracket with a thrilling overtime penalty kick shootout in the final. This followed two finalists finishes at the Raleigh Girls Junior Showcase and OBGC Capital Cup as well as a strong showing in the second division of their EDP league.
Perhaps the most success from a development perspective came from the newly formed Severna Park SPIRIT, which challenged the SP FORCE White team in a competitive semifinal battle at the Columbia Fall Classic. The SPIRIT competed in the fourth division of the EDP league and top-level tournaments, winning as often as they lost.
“Our success has been measured through the growth and development of each player,” said coach Steve Horrigan. “Our game results were only a reflection of that hard work and focus.”
Mark Cover, who leads the program, believes there are a lot of benefits in being a community program.
“Parent involvement and commitment to bringing local communities together is what youth sports should be about,” he said.
With six coaches, a dedicated goalie coach and three team managers supporting the 2011 age group, Cover said, "We thankfully have the resources and community support to allow our girls to grow as soccer players, as young ladies, and make lifelong friends all at the same time.”
On the pitch, the coaches are pleased with the results but more excited with the style of play which has been validated through feedback they received from referees and opposing coaches throughout the season.
“This is a nonnegotiable for our program,” Cover said. “All of our teams work to play possession-style soccer and learn the skills that will help them excel in high school and beyond. We will not risk long-term development for short-term success.”
Cover recognizes that none of this would be possible without the support of Green Hornets soccer and that program’s commissioner, Matt Souder.
"Matt and the entire Souder family are amazing people that have done amazing things for our community,” Cover said. “We very much appreciate them!"
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