Three weeks after placing second at the Memorial Day Soccer Tournament in Hampton, Pa., the Montgomery Soccer Club Gators won the U-19 girls division title Saturday at the Colin Brown Memorial Tournament at Good Counsel High School.
The Gators, who improved to 13-2-1, were one of 45 teams entered in the one-day tournament and one of seven champions from Montgomery County. The JDS Ghosts won the U-8 girls division and the MSC Vipers took the U-14 girls title. Boys winners included the College Park Gunners (U-10), Red Scorpions (U-13), MSC Jammin (U-14) and MSC United (U-15).
"This team has great chemistry," said Gators coach Erin Hawley, whose team placed second in the Washington Area Girls Soccer League. "They pass well, they get the ball up to the forwards and they play excellent defense. . . They're an excellent team."
The Gators began the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Seneca Majick. Shawn Mattson (Sandy Spring) scored two goals and Jessie Armstrong (Holy Cross) made several nice saves. Christine Leeper (Holy Cross) and Kate Pielemeier (Wilson) each scored one goal and Becca Wright (Rockville) Jenni Smakula (Holy Cross) played good defense.
The Gators improved to 2-0 with a 6-2 win over the Seneca Storm. Leeper and Pielemeier each scored two goals and Ellen Goldmark (Rockville) had several assists. Jen Castillo (Rockville) and Emily Miller (Wilson) each scored one goal and Mattson made a number of key saves in goal. The Gators then secured the title with a win over the Falcons.
"We really wanted to win this tournament," said Hawley, an assistant junior varsity coach at Good Counsel. "A lot of these girls played for Colin Brown and they dedicated this tournament to him."
Brown, who coached at Good Counsel, Montgomery College and Columbia Union College, died last year of colon cancer at age 37. He coached the MSI Chargers for five years and played an important role in the development of youth soccer in Montgomery County. Proceeds from the tournament went to his wife and children.
"Colin Brown was a fabulous coach and a fabulous person," said Mary Catherine Hellmuth, whose daughter played for Brown. "He brought out the best in his players and made them feel like they could play for the national team, even when they were not that good.
"The purpose of this tournament is to keep his name alive in the soccer world."