Sports

Azzurri aren

The Bainbridge FC GU 14 competitive select soccer team won a coveted slot in the fall’s Washington State Youth Soccer Association’s Premier Division One league.

The Azzurri won their spot against almost 40 teams from around Washington at the annual League Placement Tournament held in Snohomish the first three weekends in June.

The Azzurri, made up entirely of players from Bainbridge Island, went 4-1 in the tournament against select teams from Marysville, Spokane, North Kitsap, Wenatchee and Mukilteo.

Goalkeeper Hannah Depew and her defense – led by central defender Evyn Newman, stopper Bridget Sloat, outside backs Isabel Gueble, Lilly Louden-Mosio, and Ellen Fossett – recorded three shutouts and allowed only three goals in five games.

Vanessa Beck showed versatility in the final tournament game, moving to the unfamiliar position of sweeper to cover for an injury to captain Evyn Newman.

The Azzurri midfield line dominated each of the games they played which was crucial to the team’s success, according to coach Grant Clark. The Azzurri midfield – which included Andria Clark, Sarah Daquisto, Haley Godtfredson, Wesley Nottingham, and Bea Sheffer -- defended well and allowed the attack to put other teams under pressure with their high work rate.

The Bainbridge attack accounted for 11 goals in five games for a 2.2 “goals for” average for the tournament. Nine different players, including Hana Newman, Selam Black, Carly Burt, and Nina Mutty, contributed goals or assists in the tournament showing great attacking diversity.

The team started the tournament with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Pacific Premier Red of Marysville. The team’s only negative result was against a fresh River City Fusion team from Spokane, forcing Bainbridge to return for a second weekend of play.

But Azzurri came back with a vengeance defeating neighboring North Kitsap Chaos 6-0, topping Wenatchee Fire 2-0, and then downing Mukilteo Blast 1-0 to earn their spot in the top division in the state league.

The team will take a break before preparation begins for the fall season. Fall league opponents will include Mount Rainier Thunder, River City Fusion, SSC Crush, South Hills Revolution, Patriots, Pacific Premier, and River City United.

The Bainbridge Azzurri are coached by Grant Clark and Tuan Nguyen.

Nguyen is also holding a supplemental tryout on Monday for the Bainbridge Island Soccer Club’s GU14 white team to fill at least one spot on the team roster. The team is looking to add a defender or midfielder to the team.

Tryout time is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the Bainbridge High School practice fields located behind the main school fields. Contact Nguyen at tuaners@msn.com for more information.

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