It was back in mid-September when 32 girls high school age soccer teams began play in the Top Flight Girls Soccer League, a league created and played at Carsin’s Run Fields in Aberdeen to fill in and or replace the lost high school season.
The league, which saw nearly 700 girls from public and private schools in Harford and Baltimore counties compete, wrapped up its season Thursday with three division championship games played at Cedar Lane Regional Park.
League director and organizer Josh Ruggiero was overall pleased with the season, that had to have a number of rules pertaining to COVID-19.
“The season overall was a huge success, but not just in the way I set out for it to be successful. We were able to create a competitive environment where the players got to experience an alternative to the seasons that were canceled or postponed and we did it with a high level of quality and safety from beginning to end. But the part that we were able to give people that I wasn’t expecting was hope and purpose,” Ruggiero said.
“For the players, they were able to get together with friends and compete. They were able to escape for a couple of hours and experience “normal.” I heard from countless parents of how this was the one thing during the week their kids smiled about and looked forward to. That coming to these games and watching them play was the highlight of their week as a parent. To have had a chance to create this for these families has been something I’ll always cherish.”
Ruggiero also had his own family and others to thank. “The amount of time and sacrifice away from my own family through all of this was rewarded by seeing makeshift “senior nights,” celebrations when advancing through the playoffs in exciting fashion, disappointment in defeat and elation in celebrating a championship with teammates,” he said. “To give these families an opportunity to feel something through sports again was priceless. I can’t thank the volunteer coaches, Cedar Lane Regional Park and all of the sponsors for supporting the league enough. 2020 will have at least one positive memory for those that had a chance to be part of this.”
For three teams it’s a memory that includes a championship.
VT7 won the Division I North title over Code Orange, 3-2 in PK’s.
Joe Burns and Donny Lala shared coaching honors.
The players were Madelena (Mae) Marshall, Natalie Obrocki, Olivia Rockstroh, Finley Barger. Sophia Roros, Ashleigh Wienhold, Caroline Connolly, Haley Burns, Sarah Goodison, Shayla Comey, Katelynn Patterson, Eloise McCann, Haley Matesa, Christine Scott, Kailey Pelkey, Brynn Hepting, Annie Marshall, Isabella Presti, Katie Lala and Kendall Curry.
The Twisters won the Division I South title over the Hot Shots, 1-0.
The coach was Kirk Koehler.
The players were Kendall Feiler, Colleen Ferrarese, Emma Grueninger, Emily Knapp, Reagan Kuehn, Courtney Savage, Alex Savage, Natalie Williams, Audrey Allan, Gianna Ferrarese, Emma Lynch, Noel Cumberland, Kennedy Koehler, Elena (Laney) Schmugge, Mackenzie Ward, Alison Werdin and Adriana Werdin.
Horns SC won the Division II title over FCA Freedom, 3-2, in PK’s.
The coaches were Vince Craig and Ashley Moneymaker
The players were Reiss Brannigan, Lindsey Moneymaker, Ryleigh Kyger, Annabelle Grenzer, Maria Antonakas, Ava Mays, Marley Evans, Victoria Henriques, Abby LaBanz, Sofia Nakamichi, Sarah Prestandrea, Gabby Nieberlein, Claire Fuller, Allie Cordell, Caroline Forsythe, Anya Mangoroban, Macy Parrish, Bonita Roka, Serenity Jankowiak, Bridgette Asher, May Friedenberg and Ameera Sabra.