The Sailors' Log
Freshman selected MVP at elite soccer tournamentThursday, January 05, 2012 By Taylor Jones
Battling through the adversity and winning a national championship in any sport is an enormous feat to overcome. Freshman soccer goalkeeper Lauren Cannon knows what it takes to be a national champion as she and her team, Kalamazoo Kingdom, played in Umbro’s Super Y-League North American Finals in Tampa, Fla., starting on Dec. 2. "We were undefeated in the regular season," said Cannon, who was selected Most Valuable Player of the tournament. "We were all so excited to go (to nationals)." The Kingdom was not only undefeated in their regular season but undefeated in the national tournament as well with a 4-0-1 record. Their toughest game was in the semifinals against Fredricksburg Area Soccer Association where they were tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and were still scoreless after double overtime, advancing into a shootout. "Everyone was so excited, and I was really nervous," Cannon said. "My friend was screaming and encouraging me from the sidelines, and I put my hands up, and the whole crowd cheered." Cannon let in no goals in the shootout, and her team scored to win the game 1-0. "The game was really hard," Cannon said. "The whole 90 minutes was back and forth, and everyone played and played well." The team went on to win 5-0 in the finals against Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC. Cannon let in only three goals out of the five games they played. "It felt pretty good (to win) because we have been working so hard, and it paid off," Cannon said. The overall tournament consisted of more than 130 boys’ and girls’ teams from age groups U12 to U17, and there were nearly 2,500 players total throughout Canada and the United States. Cannon said being goalkeeper is a big task that many people do not understand. "Goalkeepers work harder than most would think because we go to extra training on top of practice," Cannon said. "A lot of the time goalkeepers don’t get a ton of credit, so it was nice to be recognized."