Players 96 girls soccer club 18 and under, coached by Joe Sladek won the 2014 U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Championship tournament, which included 13 states.
The team is based in Las Vegas but has 8 Pahrump girls on the team. The following are the Pahrump members: Jennifer McCaw, Sydney Sladek, Paige Chaffee, Kristen Young-Chaffee, Ashlyn DiBlasi, Lexi Smith, Alyssa Turner and Brittnay Klenczar. From Las Vegas: Tessa Dejong, Tess Dwyer, Alyssa Mireless, Michaela Morris, Alexa Murrietta, Isabella Myers, Emily Neighbors, Gabby Altsmanburger and Kim Olivares.
Sladek said the tournament had 16 teams in their age group. The tournament concluded on Sunday and was a weeklong tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
According to U.S. Youth Soccer, the national championship series is the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament, providing approximately 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams from U.S. Youth Soccer’s 55 state associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills. The national championships cap a yearlong series of competitions, U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series, for boys and girls teams in multiple age groups as teams earn their way from the top teams in their state to the regional championship tournaments. The finals will be in Germantown, Md.
The 96 girls were also the Nevada State Champions and will move on to the national finals in Maryland where there will be six teams at the nationals. There are four regions, so there will be four teams plus two other teams, which qualified as wild cards.
The regional game was on Sunday morning and the Players 96 team beat a Southern California state team 2-0. Sydney scored the only goals in the game.
“We had six games in seven days and it was pretty intense. We will go on to nationals in the fourth week of July,” Sladek said. “Winning region IV is a big deal and I am really not sure how long ago it has been since another Nevada team has done this. I know it has not been in the last nine to ten years.” (This will be the first older girls team to advance to nationals from Nevada. A younger division won regionals according to Sladek, but was too young to go to nationals).
Sladek said he will continue coaching with Pahrump Valley High School as a volunteer and will coach at least another year of club ball. This will be his daughter Sydney’s last year with the team. She leaves for the University of Southern California after nationals.
According to Joe, Sydney scored 4 goals, Smith scored 1, McCaw scored 2, and two other goals came from two Vegas girls.