Former Panthers Win USASA Amateur Cup Championship

By  //  July 17, 2013

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Gillette, Whittaker guide ASA Chesapeake Charge

GAMBRILLS • MARYLAND – Arundel Soccer Association’s elite women’s soccer team, Chesapeake Charge, captured the United States Adult Soccer Association’s National Women’s Amateur Championship with a 2-0 victory over the Real Salt Lake Women on June 30.

Jennifer Gillette

Jennifer Gillette

Former Florida Tech Panthers Jennifer Gillette and Kelly Whittaker helped guide the Charge to the championship.

“Winning the amateur cup was an amazing experience,” Gillette said.

“I hadn’t won a tournament like that in my life so it felt very rewarding to be part of a team that is experiencing such great success. We got to play against teams from all across the country, which makes winning the championship a great team achievement.”

THREE VICTORIES IN TWO DAYS

Prior to the USASA National Women’s Amateur Championship, Chesapeake defeated the Tidewater Sharks in Williamsburg, Va. on Wednesday, June 26 by a score of 5-0 to improve its record to 6-0-2 overall, good enough to secure one of the two playoff spots in the Women’s Premier Soccer League’s South Atlantic Division.

Whittaker, now a forward for Chesapeake, provided the Charge with a 3-0 advantage heading into halftime against the Sharks with a goal in the 40th minute. Three minutes after teammate Marisa Kresge extended Chesapeake’s lead to 2-0, Kresge sent a cross into the box that found Whittaker for a header into the back of the net. Two goals off corner kicks in the 50th and 63rd minutes gave the Charge their eventual 5-0 lead and the eventual win.

Kelly Whittaker

Kelly Whittaker

Chesapeake flew out to Kansas City, Kan. the following day to begin the amateur championship.

On Friday, June 28 the Charge defeated Turbo/D’Feeters comfortably by a score of 4-1 to win the first of three matches in group play. On Saturday, Chesapeake played two matches for a chance for championship Sunday. In game one, the Charge played to a 1-1 draw against the Real Salt Lake Women.

Three hours later, needing a win to advance to the championship match, Chesapeake dominated the San Francisco Olympic Club. The Charge scored all three of their goals in the second half, including a goal by Whittaker in the 87th minute for a 3-0 victory to advance to the championship match.

“It’s exciting,” Whittaker said looking forward to the WPSL playoffs. “[Long Island] is a really good team. If we work hard we should come out on top.”

“For me to be able to contribute to us bringing home the trophy meant a lot,” Whittaker said of scoring in the semifinal match.

“It was a great feeling for the team and was confirmation that we belong among the best [in the WPSL].”
On Sunday, the rematch was set: Chesapeake vs. Real Salt Lake. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday morning during group play. The Charge scored 16 minutes into regulation and then found a second goal in the 60th minute to claim the title by a score of 2-0.

‘ALREADY AN AWESOME SEASON’

Chesapeake capped its regular season with back-to-back shutouts over the weekend and now ranks No. 2 in the national WPSL rankings. The Charge defeated the Tidewater Sharks, 7-0, on Friday and then blanked the Philadelphia Fever, 3-0, on Sunday to finish the regular season 8-0-2, 11-0-3 overall.

Three wins in the WPSL Regional Playoffs will not only give Chesapeake a regional title, but also a spot in the national semifinal in California. (ChesapeakeCharge.com image)

Three wins in the WPSL Regional Playoffs will not only give Chesapeake a regional title, but also a spot in the national semifinal in California. (ChesapeakeCharge.com image)

“We begin the playoffs on Saturday against the Long Island Fury,” Gillette said. “They are a great team who are coached by former professional head coach Paul Riley. We are going to have to play very well.”

“It’s exciting,” Whittaker said looking forward to the WPSL playoffs. “[Long Island] is a really good team. If we work hard we should come out on top.”

Three wins in the WPSL Regional Playoffs will not only give Chesapeake a regional title, but also a spot in the national semifinal in California.

“We are all very excited and optimistic about our chance to make the final four,” Gillette said. “We have all worked very hard this season and that would be a great way to cap off an already awesome season.”

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