Sheyenne United ends season with 2 titles
The Fargo Soccer Club's U13 Sheyenne United team -- consisting of 18 girls, 16 of them from West Fargo -- found a great deal of success throughout the season, finishing with two tournament championships, two second-place finishes and a 17-6 record.
"I think this is the finest group young ladies I've had the privilege of coaching," team coach Kelvin Daniels said. "They didn't win any championships last year, and they took it personally. They came out hungry and ready to go."
The team managed to score 70 goals in their 23 games, while only giving up 18.
Daniels chalks his team's success up to their unrelenting dedication, which goes above and beyond that of the average 12-year-old.
"Once we were able to get outside (in the spring), I saw the best player growth as a group that I have seen in three or four years," Daniels said. "We had a 95-percent attendance rate at practice this year. Their commitment and work ethic has been phenomenal. The girls really worked hard and the results were excellent."
Much of the team's success came from two players: forwards Tianna Daniels and Maddison Urlaub, who accounted for roughly half of the team's goals.
"They just put themselves in good position to score," Daniels said. "Tianna also had more assists than anyone else because she likes to lay the ball off for other players, and Maddison has a way of taking over a game. She is a powerful kid."
While the two pace the team offensively, scoring 70 goals as a team in a season means that there are plenty of goals coming from other players as well.
"If we score 14 goals in a tournament, there are six or seven kids that get them," Daniels said. "We tell them to try for 30 shots on goal every game, and all of them have learned to attack the net. As a whole, this team is great offensively."
The team's two champions came during the Tri-City Tournament in late June and the Fishback Classic in Brookings, S.D., during the last week of July.
During both tournaments, the team only gave up six goals.
"We really focus on team defense," Daniels said. "If they are in our half, we are all back in our half on defense. They really work together well, but their individual effort is outstanding."
The team recently gave out its end-of-season awards. Daniels and Urlaub were awarded the "Golden Boot" scoring award, Bryanne and Jayden Leiseth were both named defender of the year and Anna Salmon was awarded the "Most Improved Player of the Year" award.
Due to the large number of that tried out in the spring, next season's Sheyenne United squad will be split into a U14 and a U13 team. Both will be coached by Daniels, who is also the Fargo Soccer Club's director of coaching.