2001 USA cup

          Lifford Ladies reach 3 USA Cup finals

The girls from Lifford had a very successful American trip winning their way to the finals of the u.12, u.14 and u.16 USA Cups. The u.14 and u.19 girls were also victorious in the Eden Prairie tournament which is used as a warm-up for the USA cup.
A party of 61 players and adults travelled from Shannon to Minneapolis on July 9th. We were met in Eden Prairie by our American host families. The girls stayed with these families for the duration of the Eden Prairie tournament and for the USA cup.
We entered u.12, u.14, u.16 and u.19 teams in both tournaments. We had American players guest for us in the two tournaments.

In the Eden Prairie tournament the u.14 and u.19 girls both won their groups and qualified for the finals. The u.12 team were unbeaten in the tournament but failed to reach the final on goal difference. This was a great performance by a team with very little match experience.
The u.14 girls had a very tough final with the temperatures in the high 90's, but they emerged victorious on a 2-1 scoreline against Dakota Rev.
The u.16 team were badly hit with injuries to key players and only just failed to reach the final.
The u.19 girls won their group and met Edina Curtis in the final. Edina were unbeaten all year and had not conceded a goal in the tournament. It was soon obvious why as their goalkeeper and defence were rock solid. Lifford dominated the match and a brilliant header by Anne Curtin from a corner gave Lifford a 1-0 victory.
The USA cup was a fantastic experience. The heat was unbearable at times and it's amazing how the girls managed to play 2 matches most day.
The u.12 girls again performed heroically and reached the final where they were beaten by a very strong-- team on a 5-2 scoreline.
The u.14 girls easily won their way to the final but had to play without star player Grace Lynch who was injured in the semi-final. They lost the final 3-1 to a very good Johnsburg White Lightning team from Illinois.
The u.16 girls had tough matches all the way through the tournament but fought their way to the final. They were 2 goals down in the semi-final but fought back to level matters and win on a penalty shootout. They dominated the final but were unlucky to lose 2-1 after creating more goal chances than in the entire competition. Some days they just don't go in.
The u.19 girls attracted a lot of college scouts and a number of the girls were offered scholarships. They were extremely unlucky to lose their semi-final 1 nil to the current holders from Canada.
The Lifford girls had a fantastic time in Blaine and were well looked after by the American host families who could not do enough for them. We thank them for all their kindness. The girls are still talking about the trip and would love to pay a return visit.