Mequon Native Brittany Von Rueden Helps Anchor FC Milwaukee Defense to Claim U17 State Soccer Title
The FC Milwaukee Nationals U17s were 90 minutes away from playing a remarkable 450 minutes without conceding a goal in state cup competition, and reclaiming the coveted title. With a steely combination of savvy possession and infallible defending, FC Milwaukee looked about as ready to give up a goal as Brett Favre is ready to give up football. But soccer is a heartless game where minor mistakes can lead to major upsets.
The Madison 56ers entered the state championship game prepared to pounce on the first FC Milwaukee mistake and ride it to victory. But it was not a day for upsets. Mistakes were few, and on the smooth turf of Titan stadium, FC Milwaukee seemed to be playing a game of keep away. The precision began at center back, as Valerie Gonyo and Brittany Von Rueden cleanly kept the 56er forwards from the ball. Every pass was on the money and it was not uncommon for FC Milwaukee to connect 12 and 15 passes in a row. If this had been a professional match, one would have heard the shout, ‘ole!’ with every pass struck. But in spite of the lob sided possession, FC could not find their way to goal and the 1st half ended 0-0.
In the 2nd half, the 17s started to become more dangerous. The possession at midfield moved forward and penetrating passes and runs began to reveal cracks in the staunch 56er defense. Forward Justine Hovden was prominent in the attack both on the ball and with clever off the ball runs. Finally, in the 70th minute of the game, Mary Luba provided a finishing touch with a 25 yard laser. FC Milwaukee closed out the game with an almost 20 minute long series of passes until the final whistle blew. FC Milwaukee U17 Coach Christian Lavers, “We have done quite well with the possession and defending now we need to start being more dangerous around the goal. The girls should be proud of their performances, the State Cup Title. We are looking forward to some great Midwest Regional and Elite Clubs National League matches. “
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