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Lady Highlanders win soccer tourney
Brooke Standard heads the ball over a defender at the Sherwood Christian Academy Eagle Invitational Soccer Tournament. The FPCA Lady Highlanders swept the tournament 5-0 for the championship. - photo by Photo by Valerie Meadows

ALBANY — The FPCA Lady Highlanders soccer team came away from their first tournament carrying a championship trophy.

Thirteen Lady Highlanders played in the Eagle Invitational Soccer Tournament, hosted by Sherwood Christian Academy, March 13-14.

After a four-hour drive, they first played Friday afternoon against Sherwood Christian Academy. The Lady ‘Landers finished with a score of 3-2 and went on to shut out Calvary, 6-0, later that night.

The next morning, with the field shrouded in fog, the Highlanders played Furtah Prep. After a rough start, the local girls came around and won the match 2-1, earning them the undefeated position going into the playoffs.

An hour after winning the semi-final game against SCA, the Lady Highlanders took the field against Furtah Prep again. This time wining 9-1. Still undefeated, the Lady ‘Landers got to rest for an hour and a half before their third game of the day, the final match against SCA. A small, but vocal, group cheered the girls on. Brandon Standard was the bench manager, keeping the statistics and filming the games. Valerie Meadows is the assistant coach and photographer.

The Lady Highlanders walked away from the final match with a 6-0 victory.

Over the tournament, the Highlanders had a total of 26 goals, scored by Lei Lei Leiataua (8), Kelsey Higgason (7), Brooke Standard (6), Haley Crissman (2), Debi Meadows (2), and Taylor Christner (1). Leiataua was recognized as tournament MPV and high scorer. Niki Lartique was named goal keeper of the tournament.

Coach Tom Sukaratana said he is proud of his team.

"Our defense played excellent," he said. "The most shots against our team was 10 in the first game. The next four games there were no more than five shots against our goal. Our team came together as a team and played with heart. FPCA is a 1A school and we played against double and triple A schools. Kudos go out to SCA for a very well organized tournament that will be an annual event from now on."

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