PENN FC 2004
LIGHTNING

 

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GAME RECAPS

PENN FC Lightning open PDA Tourney

with a 2x Lightning Victory

May 28th, 2022

by Edson Arantes do Nascimento, New York / New Jersey Bureau

The vaunted PENN FC Lightning team headed back to New Jersey, this time to compete in the acclaimed PDA Showcase Tournament.   

The winners of the opening day match – the Lightning – TWICE.

The PENN FC Lightning faced off against the Cedar Stars Girls Academy team, on what appeared to be a recreational-sized field.  Although only 48-yards wide, the field was 48-yards wide for both teams.  So, play on…

True to form, the Lightning jumped out early.  Always energetic Liza Suydam had a magical blast which found nothing but netting.  The Lightning went up 1-0, and how critical it would be for Lightning to take the lead.

A minute or so later, speedster Alex Murphy accelerated down the left wing, and then serviced a sweet cross, which found Loren Gehret to bury and the Lightning easily led 2-0.

As Charles Darwin may have opined, play then conformed to its environment, with abundant chances coming just inside mid-field due to the diminutive pitch dimensions. 

But there would be no more goals, or even shots, or play for that matter.  The “other” Lightning showed up… the Mother Nature Lightning.  Boom.  Crash.  Run to your vehicles.

When the storm subsided and the weather delay ended, the PDA Tournament surprisingly cancelled the second half, thus declaring the Lightning as 2-0 victors.

Could PDA have made adjustments to allow the girls to get more playing time in front of dozens of college coaches, as this is a college showcase tourney? 

Yes.  Of course PDA could have made a few schedule adjustments.

But that would have taken the slightest amount of effort, and that minor thought process would have been beneficial to all the girls, and the attending colleges. 

Did PDA do that?  No.  Unfortunately the checks are cashed, and empathy has left the field.

PENN FC Lightning 2 – Cedar Stars Academy 0

Mother Nature Lightning 1 – PDA Tournament Officials 0

Next Up – the PENN FC Lightning take on Match Fit Academy on Sunday at 8:00 AM.

PENN FC Lightning begin defense of State Cup Title with Dominant Performance

May 22nd, 2022

by John C. Birdel

A packed crowd at Susquehanna Township High School Stadium witnessed the PENN FC Lightning begin their State Cup Title defense with a dominant performance and 5-0 victory over the visiting PA Rush.

Obvious to the hundreds of fans, the Lightning ain’t happy with only one State Championship, those girls want a matching pair.

In typical Lightning fashion, the girls got out to an early lead – barely 2-minutes in, Kristen Economopoulos fed a ball out to the speedy Alex Murphy, who then made a sweet cross for Loren Gehret to blast home for a Lightning 1-0 start.

The Lightning had many opportunities that were just off their mark, but they kept pushing.  Liza Suydam took a healthy rip, which was blocked by the Rush keeper, unfortunately to an opportunistic Alex Murphy who happily buried the rebound for a Lightning 2-0 lead.

The Rush defensive woes continued as Isabel Coy’s blast rebounded for a determined Liza Suydam to slam home the goal and a Lightning 3-0 advantage.

Halftime: Lightning 3-0.

Crafty Kate Economopoulos stole a pass at midfield, drove down the field, and laid off a sweet dime to Liza to get her brace and put the Lightning up 4-0.

A few minutes later, feisty Alex Murphy was taken down in the box for a penalty.  Kristen Economopoulos took the PK and coolly slid the ball into the lower right-hand corner of the net.  Lightning up 5-0.

Lightning keeper Kayla Proch had some business to take care at her own end.  A few tidy grabs, a little help from her friend the post, and a timely parry helped to keep her clean sheet shutout.

Final Score Lighting 5 – PA Rush 0

Next Up in the State Cup:  PENN FC Lightning will host Keystone FC on Wednesday, June 1st, at 7:00 PM, at the new Middletown High School turf stadium.  This match will be the semi-finals, with the winner advancing to the Finals on June 11th.

PENN FC Lightning Clinch 2nd Consecutive EDP Conference Title

May 8th, 2022 – Mother’s Day

by Christie Chris, former NJ government press-secretary

The PENN FC Lightning travelled to the Garden State and promptly planted the host Match Fit Academy side to secure their second consecutive EDP Conference Title.

Liza Suydam received a through-ball, and calmly slid the ball past the keeper for an early 1-0 advantage.

Kate Economopoulos put Lightning up 2-0 soon after by burying a rebound shot from her sister Kristen.

By halftime, Lightning dominated, but only led 2-0.  However, Match Fit had the advantage in unsporting behavior, leading in yellow-cards by 1-0.  The Match Fit frustration would continue to boil over in the second half as the Lightning stormed on.

Alex Murphy dribbled through the defense, and then around the oncoming keeper, and easily slotted the ball into the twine.  Lightning up 3-0.

Another caution on Match Fit put them up 2-0 in yellow cards.  Seemingly angered, Alex Murphy took a short corner from Liza Suydam, dribble through even more defenders and laid off a sweet dime to Isabel Coy who blasted home the Lightning’s 4th goal.

Loren Gehret then joined the scoring party with a rip and reward.  Lighting up 5-0.

Loren followed up with her second goal (and a brace), from a nice feed by Liza.  Lightning elevate to 6-0.

Match Fit finished their Mother’s Day errands by acquiring the 3rd yellow card of the day – this one went down as pure frustration due to the Lightning dominance.

The Chippy Match Fit squad did answer with its own goal – cutting the lead to 6-1, but a comeback was highly unlikely.

Kristen responded to feed a through-ball to Isabel to rip for her brace, and a Lighting 7-1 lead.

Finally (thank goodness, the score reporting is exhausting with this Lightning team), Liza Suydam dribbled through the defense the Lightning’s 3rd brace of the day, and an 8-1 victory.

We believe that the Lightning were emphatically saying Happy Mother’s Day – we love ya Mom.

HUMMELSTOWN, PA – the New Lightning Capital of the United States…!

by William Morris Davis

May 2, 2022

Get out a pencil and some paper, and just try to follow this illogical logic… 

  1. Florida is annually named the Lightning Capital of the United States.

  2. Last year, the PENN FC Lightning stormed down to Florida and thundered its way to the 2021 USYS National Championship.

  3. When the PENN FC Lightning won the NATTY in the Lightning Capital, logically the title of Lightning Capital transfers to the PENN FC Lightning, as well.

  4. And since the PENN FC Lightning play their home matches in our sleepy little haven, that would make Hummelstown, Pennsylvania the New Lightning Capital of the United States.

Overtime Sports (OTS) will continue to monitor the radar on this brewing topic, and we will report when the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sets the record straight …

Hummelstown - Lightning Capital of the United States… that has a nice BOOM to it…!

5/1/22

PA RUSH

0

2004 PENN FC LIGHTNING

7

Lightning Quick to Dispatch the Rush

Jack B. Faust

May 1, 2022

Per usual, the PENN FC Lightning didn’t waste any time to create an early lead, and then they poured it on visiting PA Rush like the rain in Hummelstown, PA. 

Neary 3-minutes into the match, the Lightning were taking the attack to their opponents.  A Lightning corner kick led to a flurry in the box, which eventually found the hand of a Rush defender.  Kate Economopoulos calmly planted the penalty kick in the net for a 1-0 lead.

Alex Murphy hit the post, Liza Suydam’s take was just high, and Kristen Economopoulos hit crossbar.  The Lightning were striking furiously, and more joy was imminent.

Patience was rewarded, as Kate Econ served a sweet through ball to Suydam, which Liza buried to put the Lightning up 2-0 (12 minutes in).

Only a few minutes later, Jamie Swartz found Isabel Coy in the box for a finish and Lightning increased their lead to 3-0 (14 in).

The Lightning played a lot of possession throughout the match and worked passes to create opportunities.  Rilyn Saner found one of these openings and served up a ball for Jamie Swartz to convert for a 4-0 lead. 

A classic Paige Flaugh cross over the top found Liza, who cut around the sprawling keeper, and coolly slid the ball into an open net.  PENN FC Lightning 5-0.

The Lightning was even more silky smooth in the second half, with the outcome assured.   Up to their old tricks, Jamie Swartz found a knifing Alex Murphy for a one-touch screamer into the twine.  Lightning 6-0.

Kristen Economopoulos then tracked down her own blast, which deflected off the keeper, and she methodically finished the scoring for the Lightning.

Final Score: PENN FC Lightning 7 – PA Rush 0

PENN FC LIGHTNING – EPYSA Team of the Year…!

Bill Becher – EPYSA Coach of the Year…!

April 30, 2022

by Concrete Chuck Bednarik 

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) held their 50th Anniversary Gala at Lincoln Financial Field – home of the Philadelphia Eagles.  At this Golden Event, EPYSA named the PENN FC Lightning as their Team of the Year and Bill Becher as their Coach of the Year.

In 2021, the PENN FC Lightning became only the 19th team from Eastern Pennsylvania to capture a U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship in the 94-years of the competitions.  The Lightning stormed through its opponents at each step of their amazing journey:

  • Pennsylvania State Cup:         4 Wins (combined score of 18-2)

  • Eastern Regionals:                  6 Wins (combined score of 24-4)

  • National Championships:        4 Wins & 1 Tie (winning the title 2-0 over Utah)

The amazing aspect of this story is not the wins or the awards, but the incredible young women who play for this Lightning team.  The girls are ready to smile and laugh.  The girls are always eager to shake hands with their opponents, and immediately thank the referees for their efforts.  The girls are also there for each other, with a pre-match prayer, a generous word of encouragement, and always unfaltering love & support. 

Bill Becher, as PENN FC Club Director & Coach for the Lightning, was an obvious & deserving choice for the Coach of the Year award.  Bill was very quick to add that the Lightning actually have three head coaches, acknowledging the efforts of Jason Pelletier & Clayton Suydam, and their contributions to the Lightning’s success.  Together these men have been teachers, mentors, role-models, advocates for college recruiting, and examples of great sportsmanship. 

The Lightning players, along with their parents and friends from the PENN FC club, graciously thanked their Coaches Bill, Jason, & Clayton – and congratulated Bill on this impressive award.  

This PENN FC Lightning team is truly special.

4/24/22

YMS FORCE

0

2004 PENN FC LIGHTNING

8

Lightning already in Mid-Season Form

Dr. Steve Lyons, Meteorologist & Lightning Expert

April 24, 2022

Last year on April 17, 2021, the Lightning lost a disappointing match to Fredericksburg (VA) Black 0-1 at the EDP Regional Showcase.  Who would have known that defeat would be Lightning’s last loss for the 2021 campaign, which then ran-off a 29-match unbeaten streak and culminated with a National Championship…!

Storm Warning – The PENN FC Lightning are already in mid-season form this season, and it’s only April for crying out loud.  Look out adversaries.

Today it was Yardley-Makefield (YMS) Force to accept the daunting challenge, and it would not be their day, not in the least.

Jaelyn Small found Kristen Economopoulos down the right side, who unleased a laser into the netting and a 1-0 lead, only 7-minutes into the match.

Only a minute later, Rilyn Saner found Loren Gehret, who then fed Alex Murphy for a blast and a 2-0 advantage.

Murphy later served up a dime to Katelyn Economopoulos who slipped by a few defenders and beat the keeper for the Lightning’s 3rd tally (17 minutes in).

Liza Suydam then played a nifty through-ball to Ashley Economopoulos and a goal – Lightning up 4-0, 28-minutes into the match. 

HOLY ECONOMOPOULOS – All three sisters buried a goal in the first half of the match…!  Why didn’t mom Karen and grand-mother Marlene lace up their boots…?

A deep drive earned a corner kick, where Liza Suydam served up long-time friend Rilyn Saner who buried the Lightning’s 5th goal.

And the hits kept coming, as Lorne Gehret hit a screamer for a 6-0 lead, and soon after Jamie Swartz finished off a nice give-and-go with Ashley Econ for Lightning’s goal # 7.

Halftime: Lightning 7 – YMS Force 0 (yeah – it was only halftime)

In the second half, Kristen Econ found Loren Gehret to get her brace, and finish the scoring for the Lightning.

The Lightning closed out the match working on possession and passing, while gaining experience at different positions.

Final Score: Lightning 8 – YMS Force 0

Thoughts: The PENN FC Lightning are winning games and winning by big goal differentials.  Their opponents are solid clubs, with solid players and coaching.  However, it’s been their misfortune to find the Lightning, as they are priming for another deep-run.  

4/10/22

PA DOMINION

1

2004 PENN FC LIGHTNING

8

A Storm is Brewing – Lightning Advisory

PENN FC Lightning v PA Dominion, April 10, 2022

On Sunday morning, PA Dominion sat alone atop the USYS Mid-Atlantic table, mainly due to more matches played than the other side, but a gratifying position none the less.  That changed when the # 1 ranked, National Champion, PENN FC Lightning came for a visit at High Noon. 

The Lightning wasted no time establishing dominance, by connecting a bunch of passes, and then a slick through-ball by
Liza Suydam released Alex Murphy down the left wing.  Alex cut & crossed to an eager Lindsey Bull, who calmly buried the header for a 1-0 lead – only 1:20 into the match. Dominion knew it was going to be a long day.

A few minutes later, Jamie
Swartz drove down the right wing and found a runner in Murphy, but her redirect was stoned by the outstretched keeper – a fantastic save.  But the Lightning kept coming. 

Isabel Coy chipped in a loose rebound off a corner kick to make it 2-0, in the 8th minute, and it was on… the Lightning started flashing their skills:

·      
Jamie Swartz with a solid rip for Lightning Goal # 3 – in the 28th minute…

·       Followed by
Loren Gehret with a laser to make it 4-0 (36th minute), and then

·      
Kristen Economopoulos cleaning up her own rebound to make it 5-0 Lightning (43rd minute).

Halftime – Lightning 5 – PA Dominion 0

The second half was more of the same – the Lightning imposing their will on their opponent.  Passing & possessing most of the game, with solid challenges & tackles when their opponents tried to connect.


Liza Suydam flicked a header into space for Loren Gehret to take a few touches and then find her brace (2 goals in a match).  Lightning up 6-0.

Perhaps it was the eye of the storm - a brief glimmer of contentment came for Dominion when an eager one-touch blast from 25-yards resulted in their only goal of the day (6-1).

Lightning finished strong –
Isabel Coy drove down the right side, dished to Loren Gehret, who then found Kate Economopoulos for another tally (7-1).

Fittingly,
Liza Suydam rewarded super-guest Lindsey Husic with a sweet through-ball for the game’s final goal – a strong right-footed finish that eluded the hands of the keeper.

Final Score: PENN FC Lightning 8 – PA Dominion 1

Thoughts:  The Lightning was coming off a very strong performance at Jefferson Cup, against a few of the best teams along the East Coast.  Their level of play was fast & furious, which vaulted Lightning to the top of the Mid-Atlantic table.

Reported by: Bill S. Woods, Quakertown Traveler-Gazette

2022 Jefferson Cup Girls Showcase:

March 25 - 27, 2022

The ladies took to the challenge in Richmond over the past weekend by facing some top level competition. This is a prestigious level event and the team was fortunate enough to play up in u19 Championship level.  

Game 1:  On Friday, on a water soaked field, the Lightning found themselves down a goal at half against Loudon (Virginia) 03/04 ECNL. Always resilient, they found the back of the net 3 times in the second half.  The first was an LD connection - a
Kate Econ cross to Jamie Swartz head flicked onto Justyce Hollenbach who tapped it in to level the score. Next, Liza Suydam hit a rocket from outside the box to take a 2-1 lead.  Alex Murphy scored next after a beautiful first touch and finish after a cross from Liza. Louden scored with about 10 minutes left. But Kayla Proch has some great goal tending to preserve the win.

Game 2:  The rooster crowed to start this one at 8am with a chill and some wind in the air. Nationally known PDA Blue 03/04 (New Jersey), with the majority of the lineup committed to top level Division 1 programs out of the class of 2022, was the opponent.  Some tough luck in the first minute led to an “own goal” and had the team down one. PDA had a ferocious attack and took a  2-0 lead into the half. But don’t count these girls out. They controlled much of the game, including much of the final 20 minutes.  
Alex Murphy beat the outside defender on the left side and hit an incredible shot (see video) to cut the lead in half. A number of opportunities later and the whistle blew just a bit too soon. The 2-1 loss ended a long undefeated streak for the ladies dating back to April 2021.

Game 3: Wrapping up the spring season warm up weekend, the 04 Lightning faced a strong side out of New York - WSC NIRVANA FC ILLUSION 03.  A very physical side  combined with some fatigue and injuries made for an even match through out. Both teams had chances - the Lightning had a few more but were unable to finish with WSC sneaking in a rebound with about 15 minutes left to take the game 1-0.


The weekend challenge ended as expected - a great way to get prepared for the upcoming spring season beginning April 9. 

 

For full event results click here.

3/19/22

2004 LIGHTNING

2

LEHIGH VALLEY UNITED

0

Lightning Struck by Lightning

 

The ladies learned one way to get stumped - a force of nature - Lightning itself - delayed and then ended their game on Saturday, March 19 against LVU at LDMS Middle School Turf. Controlling the first half, the first strike came from Kate Econ on a bouncing ball in the box. She pushed through a few defenders and knocked the ball into the frame to go up 1-0. Soon after, Isabel Coy drove swiftly down the right side, stepped inside her defender and slotted a shot passed the keeper to take a 2 goal lead. LVU had a good chance to score but some defending, nice goalkeeping by Kayla Proch and the post prevented the ball from reaching the net. Then the clouds rolled in and the game was called - due to Lightning - before the 2nd half could get going! The score is official and is the first game of the National League as well as the final game of the PRO league.

 

Next up: The Jeff Cup next week. This will be the biggest challenge yet for the Lightning u18 group. They face Loudon VA and PDA Blue of the u19 age group out of the prestigious ECNL league on back to back days as well as the WSC Nirvana, state champs from NY. Best to the ladies!

2/26/22

VIRGINIA UNION ECNL

1

2004 LIGHTNING

2

The ladies received an invite to play one game in the Maryland United College Showcase on February 26. They faced a strong side in Virginia Union ECNL. Within the first minute, the attack by VU created a chance and they scored to go up 1-0.
Undeterred, the Lightning struck back, scoring 2 in the second half to take the game 2-1.
The first goal was scored by
Liza Suydam after Alex Murphy, working hard on the outside all day, sent a ball into the box. Liza was there to finish and level the score at 1. Late in the game, Melanie Love finished a cross sent into the box by Jamie Swartz after she won a ball and took it down the outside. This is the 4th opponent in a row against an ECNL or Girls Academy opponent and has offered the ladies some challenging games.  

Game Notes:  

Liza hit the cross bar multiple times. She is know for clanking the woodwork so her great finish was well deserved.  

The coaches made a “call up”, adding 3 players from the 2005 team for the game;
Melanie Love, Abby Renaldi, and Lindsey Husic - all made a positive impact on game play.

Virginia Union, aka McLean Youth Soccer, is currently mid table in the ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference.  

Keeper
Kayla Proch should get much credit for the win, saving multiple chances by a strong attacking opponent.

https://www.neilrenaldiphotography.com/Sports/Soccer/2022-02-26-PennFC-Lightning-vs-McLean-VA Photos compliments of Neil Renaldi

Penn Fusion College Showcase
 Feb 19-21.

Playing in the u19 age group, the ladies played 3 top level teams over 3 days. In game 1, a cold and windy day had an impact on play, but the Lightning were able to find the back of the net twice over a strong Virginia side, Metro United Girls Academy. Score 2-0 : Goals were scored by Isabel Coy (assisted by Liza Suydam) and Kate Econ (direct kick).

 

Game 2 vs Match Fit Academy ECNL (New Jersey) proved a challenge. After going up 1-0 off a nice finish by Justyce Hollenbach (fed by Jamie Swartz), MFA hit one from distance to even the score for a 1-1 draw.

 

On a sunny and warm day 3, the Lightning controlled the game throughout, putting up 3 on Sporting Delaware Girls Academy Goals were scored by excellent finishes from Loren Gehret, Marianna Aubele , and Jamie Swartz (assists by Liza and Kate). Results from the bracket left them in a tie at the top with Match Fit.

https://events.gotsport.com/events/schedule.aspx?EventID=85181&ApplicationID=6463858

Next up:  League play for USYS National League as well as one of the highest level tournaments of the year - The Jefferson Cup - at the u19 championship bracket at the end of March.

National P.R.O. League Games

The Penn FC 04 Lightning girls traveled to Florida mid December to start the 7 game National P.R.O. league games. The top 2 teams from each of the 5 groups of 8 plus 2 overall wildcard teams get an automatic bid to the National Championships in July 2022. The weekend ended with 2 ties and a loss against some of the tougher teams in their group of 8. Playing teams that have been in full 'club' season form, the girls from the Lightning are just coming off of their High School season and now back together. Thus, the overall result was impressive, yet not what was hoped for by the group.

 

Game 1 against Galaxy SC out of Illinois saw a goal given up right before half and proved to be the game winner. The 1-0 score could have gone either way but the Lightning was unable to finish multiple opportunities inside the 18 yard box.

 

Game 2 against St Louis Scott Gallagher ended in a 1-1 tie. Kate Econ put the girls up by finishing a shot near the top of the box to the far left corner in the second half. All seemed to be on track but a counter off of a cross was finished by the squad from Missouri to tie the game 1-1 with a few minutes left.

 

The final game saw the Lightning again go up 1-0 on a fine finish by Liza Suydam against an exceptional Texas team DKSC. Once again, a counter was had in the second half that knotted the game at 1-1.Of special note, Kayla Proch had an excellent game in the net and stopped a PK as well. The team will play 3 more of the 4 games left in this league in February in Tampa. This is one avenue to reach the National Finals. The US National League, State and Regional Cup games will begin in March 2022. For further details on the next tournament, click here: https://system.gotsport.com/org_event/events/4632/schedules?team=207933

11/14/21

Keystone FC

1

2004 LIGHTNING

5

Sunday, Game 3, saw the Lightning face always tough local foe Keystone FC. In a rematch of a season game from March, the match seemed close for most of the first few minutes. "That didn't last long," explained Tad McFadden as he laughed. "Vegas had Keystone FC (+3.5) getting three and half points but I still took Lightning,"said McFadden, suggesting he could have guaranteed a win, Joe Namath style. Our research department determined that McFadden actually made all of that up, since the actual line was 2.5. Ok, still a joke. Vegas did not publish any betting lines for the game, nor do we suggest that gambling on sports is necessarily a good idea, but it sure makes the article sound good.   Penn FC controlled the match for the majority of the game and despite getting only 1 - a nice lay off by Kate Economopoulos to Talya MacFarlane, the score was 1-0 at half. "I wish Kristen and Katelyn could shorten their last names to something like Jones or Smith. Economopoulos is way too long to type over and over again," said Tad. Get over it and get used to it McFadden! The ladies turned up the heat on the windy and frigid day in the second half. Kristen Econ added 2 goals on a nice assist from Liza Suydam. Liza then crushed a beautiful upper 90 herself to go up 4-0. "When I saw that goal, it made me think of the time Christian Laetnerr hit the game winning shot against Kentucky. Just gorgeous and so satisfying," Tad reported. Keystone did get one back off a direct kick later in the game. But the Lightning countered immediately on a nice goal by Justyce Hollenbach to end it with a final score of 5-1. The Lightning will play December 11, 12, and 13 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando Florida. This is the start of the PRO league schedule facing teams from around the country. More information to follow from our very own John Birdel and can be see at the site here: https://www.usysnationalleague.com/national-league-pro-orlando-2021/

National League P.R.O. Orlando 2021 | National League

 

The Lightning had a number of players from the very good 2005 Black team - many of whom played with them at Nationals in Florida. This team will also be in the PRO league we hope to be able to get a staff reporter on hand to report games for the season! A number of the 04 players were not in attendance due to continuing to play for State Titles in HS and much luck to them in the coming week!

11/14/21

Delco 04

0

2004 LIGHTNING

4

Game 2 on Saturday was against ECNL foe FC Delco 04. What was mostly a close match ended up swaying towards the Lightning, who scored 4 goals - Jamie Swartz, Justyce Hollenbach and 2 from Aubrey Strohecker guided by 3 assists by Kristen Economopoulos - ended with the win. "And here I thought the ECNL was the cream of the crop," joked Tad McFadden. "The Lightning girls made it look too easy."   The defense played tough all game. "Delco didn't even sniff the goal," McFadden told us. "I almost felt bad for them and thought maybe the girls should give them a sympathy goal. Almost."Mel Love, Cath Martin, Rylyn Saner, Hannah Costa, and Lindsey Husic helped keeper Kayla Proch keep the clean sheet. "It was the cleanest sheet I've ever seen," reported McFadden. Lightning 04 moves to 2-0 on the year. 

11/12/21

PA Classics

1

2004 LIGHTNING

3

Believe it or not, it's that time again...now at the u18 level...the Penn FC 04 Lightning began the new season at the FC Delco Fall Showcase at the Proving Grounds in Conshohocken, PA. John C. Birdel, recently promoted to OverTime Sports Vice President of Futbol Reporting for excellence in soccer journalism, still on assignment hanging with the CD Rams Lady Soccer team on the quest to the PA State HS title was not able to make the trip. However, he assigned out his duties and Tony Winning OTS reporter Tad McFadden was on scene and provided all the details. 

The Lightning Ladies played a game each day over the weekend. Friday night, facing PA Classics for the first game since July, began short staffed. With a sub and a number of guest players, the team rose to the occasion. "I never doubted the team's ability to win," said McFadden. "They're the best soccer team named "Lightning' in the Northern Hemisphere, and Coach Bill (Becher) is one good looking dude, who knows how to coach."  Coach Becher saw his team walk away with 3 goals before letting one in towards the very end on a PK hand ball in the box. Aubrey Strohecker added a goal while Justyce Hollenback added 2 of her own, all on very nice plays and finishes. Aubrey had a few assists as well. The Lightning are now 1-0 for the season. 

National P.R.O. League Games

The Lady Lightning traveled to Tampa in early February to play 3 more games in the National P.R.O. league. The girls, despite having little outdoor practice time in winter filled Central PA walked away with 3 victories. The team scored 7 goals (3 by Liza Suydam, 2 each by Jamie Swartz and Alex Murphy) and gave up zero. Charlotte Independence (NC), Libertyville 1974 (IL) and Madison 56ers (WI) were the strong opposition. A solid back line and keeper (credit to Paige Flaugh, Rilyn Saner, Hannah Costa, Jaelyn Small and Kate Economopoulos along with Kayla Proch in goal) kept the sheet clean for the ladies against some strong attacking sides.

The league will conclude with one more game against local rival LVU (Lehigh Valley) with the team vying for a Wild Card spot to reach the National Championship event in July.