ALTON - The Alton Fighting Irish Soccer Club had two teams win the recent Adidas Premier Invitational Championship in Memphis, Tenn.

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The 2006 Irish girls team finished the tournament 3-1 with victories over teams from Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri, but had to earn the Championship the hard way.

"We won the first game 3-1 but came out slow against a good Northern Mississippi team and got down 2-0 early. We felt we outplayed them the last 45 minutes but the first 15 minutes cost us. We lost 3-2 and had to earn our way back into the winners' bracket", said Irish Coach Andrew Davis. "Then we were able to win 2-1 against a good JB Marine team from St. Louis who is two divisions ahead of us in our league. That put us into the Championship against the Mississippi team we lost to 3-2." The Irish won the Championship 3-0.

"This was some of the best competition we have faced. So for us to win against higher division teams lets us know the team has even more potential" said Irish Coach Robert Stephan. "That the girls regrouped and fought back says a lot about their determination".

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This is the 2006 Irish Girls third championship this season, with the team earning first place in the Lou Fusz Fall Invitational and as well as the recent Glen-Ed Spring Kick-Off in Edwardsville. Team members include Juliana Stevenson, Katie Johnson, Abi Davis, Callie Mossman, Maya Stephan, Faith McKaig, Jada Bruce, Audrey Alm, Haylee Norton, Emily Schrumpf, Ellie Williams, Meredith Zigrang, Avery Williams and Grace Carter.

The Irish 2008 girls also claimed a Championship in Memphis after going 4-0 against clubs from Mississippi and Tennessee. "This was a great experience for our players and parents. We are proud of their development and look forward to watching them in the future" said Irish Coach Matt Waters. "This is a fun group to watch. They have speed, skill and play great defense" added Stephan. The 2008 Irish girls won the Lou Fusz Fall Invitational and placed second in the top division of the recent Glen Ed Spring Kick-Off in Edwardsville.

Team members include Izzi Hough, Maddie Waters, Lydia Schrumpf, Allie Weiner, Alex Stephan, Kyridis Orr, Lilly Hannigan, Jessica Eales, Rayna Raglin, Emma Hough and Ava Hernandez.

With spring and summer ahead, there should be a lot of Rising Stars to nominate. To nominate, click on this link:

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