Franklin Regional soccer player excited for national title opportunity
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Cassidy LeDonne's first trip to the regional soccer championships turned out as well as she could have expected.
Now, she's hoping for even more.
LeDonne, a rising senior at Franklin Regional, was a member of the Beadling Soccer Club team that won the under-17 title at the Region I Championships earlier this month in Kingston, R.I. The team, called the Thunder, will now compete at the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, which will begin Tuesday and run through July 28 in Overland Park, Kan.
“I never imagined myself winning regionals because I've never been on a team that was real competitive and had a bunch of girls that were as dedicated as I was,” LeDonne said. “So becoming state cup champion and then becoming regional champion this year all in one year was so exciting for me.”
This year marked LeDonne's first at Beadling Soccer Club. She played previously for a team called PA Crew, which never advanced to the semifinals of the PA West Cup. Only the PA West titleist advances to the Region I Championships.
LeDonne was recruited to play for Beadling after playing against the club last year in a tournament.
“I want to play soccer in college, and I just felt like Beadling was a good choice for me to get exposed to college coaches,” LeDonne said. “I realized if playing in college was something I really wanted to do, I had to make myself a better player. (At) Beadling, the girls on the team were at higher competition, so it made me a better player and gave me exposure to colleges.”
LeDonne, who plays center back, believes practicing against the top forwards at Beadling — the team has several Division I prospects — made her a better defender.
The team also plays against top competition from around the country during the fall and spring travel seasons.
“I'm honestly playing (against) the best forwards in the country,” LeDonne said. “And I like that challenge, just because it makes me a better player. The competition is very high-level. These girls have tons of skills, (and) the movement of the ball is very fast.”
At the Region I tournament, Beadling was matched up in a four-team pool that included Match Fit Chelsea Beat, a New Jersey-based team that was the No. 1-ranked team in the country at the time. The Thunder beat Match Fit, 1-0, and advanced out of the pool with a 2-0-1 record.
In the semifinals, Beadling defeated ISA Sting from eastern New York and moved on to the championship game, where the Thunder defeated Massachusetts-based Aztec Soccer, 3-1.
LeDonne said the team would be practicing a lot harder in the days leading up to the national championships.
The winners of all four regions advance to the tournament. Beadling is ranked No. 3 in the country heading into the tournament.
“We're just going to have to give it our all at practices,” LeDonne said. “We're going to have to have fun, but not necessarily mess around a lot because we all have a goal to win nationals. We have to work a lot harder in order to be best prepared for it.
“Honestly, any team can win on any given day, but I feel like we have a pretty good shot at winning it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ fourth-round pick Grant relies on smarts to get job done
- Rossi: Not too early to go with Kang
- Ligonier Township mourns K-9 officer killed in wrong-way crash
- Nominees announced for Pittsburgh CLO Kelly awards
- Pa. Gov. Wolf’s general counsel tied to $358M bond project winner
- Missing Indiana Township girl home safe
- Pirates’ offense still stuck in a rut during setback to Reds at PNC
- Uber, Pennsylvania regulators debate proposed $19 million fine in Pittsburgh
- Birth adds to Fayette County man’s collection of miniature horses
- Analysis: Chlorine to curb Legionnaires’ eating away at pipes at VA sites
- Penguins notebook: Team hires director for Lemieux Complex