ECNL PHOENIX CLUB COMPETITION DAY 3 RECAP: NEVER BACK DOWN
Katie Pedersen had quite the weekend.
Saturday night, Pedersen was one of the 34 athletes to suit up in the ECNL Phoenix U16/17 National Selection Game, competing as an attacking midfielder on Team West. Pedersen played a big part in the midfield in that game, generating chances for her squad, but ultimately, her side fell to Team East 3-1. However, the result isn’t what she will remember about that night.
Heading into the National Selection Game though, Pedersen did not suit up for her club team, but she still showed her support.
“I sat on the bench for our game Saturday, and at halftime, I was giving my little two cents on what we could work on,” Pedersen said. “It was great to still be a part of the team even though I didn’t play.”
Later that night, her teammates did the same, making signs and all standing on the sidelines as she represented her club on the biggest stage at ECNL Phoenix.
“It was so much fun,” Pedersen said. “I loved all the energy and all the fans that were there. Having my team there to cheer me on was such a great experience. They support me, they cheered me on. It’s great to know that they love me.”
Following the National Selection Game, Pedersen returned to Eastside SC, ready to share what she learned from the game with her club.
“The speed of play in the National Selection Game was a lot faster than I’m used to,” Pedersen said. “So it was great to give my teammates some pointers from the game to help speed up our play and help them against the other teams this weekend.”
In her first game back, Eastside defeated Bethesda SC 1-0, and then faced off against Florida Krush to close out the national event.
In Monday’s contest, Florida Krush opened the scoring and added a second midway through the game. Despite being down 2-0, Eastside SC never gave up and continued searching for a goal. Late in the game, Eastside finally broke through, cutting Florida Krush’s lead to just one. Eastside continued to battle and nearly evened the game up, but couldn’t fully connect on a shot, ultimately falling by a score of 2-1.
“What I’m going to remember from this weekend is just always bringing a positive attitude,” Pedersen said. “Like in this game, we scored at the end and almost tied it up. To keep always be fighting until the end. I saw that first-hand in the National Selection Game. We were down and we kept fighting, trying to get that next goal. And I’m trying to bring that mentality back to my club.”