The Meridian Futbol Club’s under 11 girls soccer team spent its Spring Break soaking up the sun in Orange Beach, Ala. However, instead of playing in the sand, MFC was busy tearing up the grass, as they returned back to Meridian champions of the Orange Beach Tournament.
The team started the tournament hot, taking down Gulf Coast United 4-1 in its opening game on March 16. Later in the day, the girls were pitted up against tournament favorite Capital City Soccer Club out of Montgomery, Ala.
MFC managed to pull out a tie with Capital City, setting up a crucial game the next day against the Huntsville (Ala.) Raptors.
Needing a shutout to advance to the championship game, MFC delivered, beating the Raptors 5-0 to secure a meeting against Mandeville (La.) Soccer Club later on in the day.
Mandeville proved to be MFC’s biggest test of the tournament, as the two teams ended regulation tied at 1-1. The game would continue into extra time and penalty kicks with neither side gaining an advantage.
MFC, however, would get its chance to put the game away for good following a missed penalty kick by Mandeville in the sudden-death round of shootouts.
With the game in the balance, MFC’s Peyton Rigdon lined up to take the shot and seal the game.
Rigdon did not disappoint, burying the ball in the back of the net to clinch the game and the title for MFC.
“It’s a young team, and a few of the girls just began to play competitive soccer this year,” team manager Gary Hutcherson said. “We struggled a little bit, but the girls really came on the last several months.
“In the tournament, you could really see the girls come together and play as a team. They really played off one another.”
With the win, the MFC under 11 girls improved to 15-4-1 on the season.
“The girls are really playing their best, and we play on finishing out the season strong.” Hutcherson said.