McDoniel added: “We can’t wait until next summer.”
In the Midwest Conference final, a shorthanded SLSG squad fell 3-1 to Midwest United FC (11-0-1) of Michigan. SLSG played the game without a pair of starters who ran into travel difficulties and had just one reserve available for the game.
“Finding out that two of our veteran players couldn’t make it was a definitely a shock,” SLSG midfield leader Syd Stephens recalled. “But we still had a game to play and that’s what we did. We obviously didn’t get the result, but we played that game with passion and courage and a lot of heart.”
Stephens added: “Having it end the way it did definitely left us with a salty taste in our mouths. I think the sky’s the limit for this team next summer.”
The UWS National Championship will be played this weekend in Round Rock, Texas. Semifinal matches feature Midwest United against Connecticut Fusion and San Antonio Athenians versus Santa Clara Blue Heat. The title match will be played Sunday.
Hewitt was joined on the SLSG coaching staff for the UWS season by Kelsey Dinges, Kindra Lierz, Jarius Holmes and Haylye Markway. Lead performance trainer Nick Bonacker also helped the squad greatly.
“We trained at 7:45 a.m.; the players were committed and so was the coaching staff,’’ Hewitt said. “Once we brought them together, it was clear that these young ladies wanted to be better and that they wanted to get something out of this experience. They saw an opportunity to improve and never stopped working at it.
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