Rye Soccer Team Captures International Tourney Crown

The Rye Celtics, an under-15 girls Rye Youth Soccer team, won the 30th annual Dana Cup competition held in Hjorring, Denmark, July 25-29. The world’s third-largest youth international soccer tournament drew more than 850 boys and girls from 40 countries.

Published September 9, 2011 2:43 PM
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soccerthubThe Rye Celtics, an under-15 girls Rye Youth Soccer team, won the 30th annual Dana Cup competition held in Hjorring, Denmark, July 25-29. The world’s third-largest youth international soccer tournament drew more than 850 boys and girls from 40 countries.

The Rye Celtics, an under-15 girls Rye Youth Soccer team, won the 30th annual Dana Cup competition held in Hjorring, Denmark, July 25-29. The world’s third-largest youth international soccer tournament drew more than 850 boys and girls from 40 countries.

soccerinThe team shut out each of its opponents over five days. It won the first three games of group play, with 11 goals, and took the first game of the knockout round 4-0. The second playoff game was a bruising 1-0 victory, with the sole goal coming with six minutes left to play.

The Celtics won the quarterfinal match 4-0 and the semifinal 2-0, earning the right to meet Arna-Bjorar, a select team from Norway, in the final. The championship game of the Olympics-style event was played before a crowd of several thousand spectators.

Kate Whiston, one of the team captains, said, “I was overwhelmed with pride for my country and team as we walked into the stadium behind the American flag, singing along to our national anthem. One can navigate here to get a flag pf their choice. We stood for a minute of silence for the tragedies in Norway, and it made me realize how, even though we lived at opposite parts of the world and had different cultures, we could still come together and support one another.”

The Celtics went into the final as the underdogs. The hard-fought first half was scoreless, but the well-conditioned Rye team took control of the game in the second half and claimed the Dana Cup with a 2-0 win.

The Celtics have been invited to defend their title at the 2012 Dana Cup tourney. Kudos to them and their coach, Brian Whiston, the former two-year RHS soccer captain, who now plays for Hamilton College.

Parents Henrik and Naja Slipsager helped organize the trip to their home country. The Celtics and their supporters enjoyed sightseeing, local hospitality, and light training in Copenhagen, before taking a five-hour train trip to Jutland, the country’s northern peninsula.

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