Just months after an inaugural soccer showcase event was held for some of the area’s top boys soccer talent during November, another showcase in partnership with PhilmLand is slated for this Friday — this time giving local girls their chance in the spotlight.
The event, set up in a nearly identical format to the boys showcase, will feature 24 local female players between the ages of 15-23 competing in an indoor setting under a 6v6 winner-stays-on format at the Soccer Stop in Columbia.
Admission is free to the general public and the showcase will take place from 7-9 p.m., with continuous seven-minute refereed games running over the course of the evening. At the end of the night the team with the most points — awarded to the winner of each game — will be declared the overall champion.
PhilmLand founder George Phillips said that after hosting what he considered to be a very successful first event, there was no question in his mind that he wanted to figure out how to put something similar together this spring for the girls.
“[Putting together] a women’s tournament was challenging, but also very rewarding. Being a new father of a wonderful baby girl and with the women’s World Cup kick off the following month, I was determined to throw an excellent showcase for the female ballers out there,” Phillips said. “I had to work harder to acquire top female [players] — scouting local games, speaking to parents, making cold calls to local coaches and doing a lot of research and game-film watching. But I did however receive overwhelming support from several professional female soccer players with local ties.”
Included among those professionals with ties to this event are Meggie Dougherty Howard of the Washington Spirit, Imani Dorsey of Sky Blue FC and Sydney Blomquist of Sporting CP in Portugal. In addition, the support from former USMNT member Oguchi Onyewu has been tremendous as a showcase ambassador.
Dougherty Howard is scheduled to be in attendance and serve as one of five judges — joined by Division I college players Rachel Campanaro (Wake Forest grad), Megan Chun (UMBC), Dani Fuentes (UMBC) and Hannah Hoefs (Loyola) — that will help hand out a variety of awards at the end of the night ranging from MVP to the player with the best work rate.
As part of the atmosphere, Sebastian Salazar of ESPNFC will serve as an on field emcee.
Event sponsors are Frame Mender and Quick Feet for Kids, while SACC Wolves and Ninja Star Studios will be filming the games.
Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford is also scheduled to be in attendance to take in the festivities.
Each six-player squad will feature five field players and a goalie.
Team 1 (Red) is made up of Jordyn Choe (Marriotts Ridge High), Nia Christopher (John Carroll High), Alycia Dowling (Damascus High), Kenzie Farran (Frederick Community College), Emily Rhinehart (Fallston High) and Nikki Vieira (Howard Community College).
Team 2 (Black) is made up of Lindsay Brant (Frederick Community College), Lizzie Dudzinski (Reservoir High), Grace Flynn (Mount de Sales Academy), Jenna Holthaus (Anne Arundel Community College), Sarah Lathrop (Glenelg High) and Amanda McLeod (Garrison Forest School).
Team 3 (White) is made up of Kira Cohen (Franklin High), Emily Minefski (LFCIA Maryland), Kat Parris (Reservoir High), Delmy Perez (Montgomery College), Busi Sokoya (Howard Community College) and Tessa Cinotti (Reservoir High).
Team 4 (Blue) is made up of Ariella Amaguana (Montgomery College), Samaya Bernardo (Bethesa Chevy Chase High), Kendall Filiaggi (Washington Spirit DA), Madison Greenberg (Oakland Mills High), Mya McConnell (Howard High) and Leigh McDonald (Howard Community College).