By Brian Hoffman
Three Salem girls competed on the Valley United 13-and-under soccer team that won the national “Presidents Cup” in Greensboro, NC the second weekend of July. Aly Price, Laikyn Funk and Nadahlia Pollard were part of Valley United’s team that won the Virginia State crown, the US Eastern Regionals and then the National President’s Cup Championship on July 10.
The girls represented the Eastern Region in the four team national championship tournament, with a team from Charlotte representing the South Region, a team from Illinois from the North and a team from Las Vegas, Nevada from the West.
The Valley United girls lost their opener to the Illinois team, but bounced back to win their next two and gain a spot in the championship game against Las Vegas. Valley United led the game, 1-0, until the West Region champs scored with about 10 minutes to go. The game was decided by a shootout and it went seven shooters before the local girls prevailed.
The overtime shootout was a thriller. Valley United goalie Amelia Stoner made a save to keep West alive in the seventh round of the shootout, then scored the winner.
“We were behind in the shootout and needed Amelia to make a save to even things up,” said coach Corey Carroll. “It was a very exciting finish.”
All the girls on the team came from Salem, Roanoke County and Roanoke City with one girl from Franklin County.