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Phoenix Valkyrie comes up short

Squandered opportunities was the theme on Sunday for Phoenix Valkyrie in a U19 Premier girls soccer game at the Rogue Valley Cup.

Phoenix missed a handful of scoring chances and the Nevada Pride capitalized late with a goal from Melissa Kleffman in the final minutes to secure a 1-0 victory.

Valkyrie, which bounced back with a 3-2 victory in the second game against Blackhills FC of Olympia, Wash., Sunday, finished 2-2 in the three-day, round robin format tournament.

But more importantly, the journey at the RV Cup presented an opportunity for some players to spend one final weekend competing with new and old teammates.

I think they want to win, said Phoenix coach Karen Seeley, whose team took second in last year's RV Cup, but the important thing is they get to see old friends and come back and play together. It's the last chance for a lot of them to play together in a local tournament. It's been fun for them and I think they've enjoyed it.

— Seeley's daughter, Caitlin, is a North Medford graduate who spent her freshman season at Oregon State University attempting to walk on as a goalkeeper. Caitlin Seeley's work as a freshman will land her on the OSU roster when next fall rolls around.

Former North Medford teammate Amber Wihtol, a 2005 Black Tornado graduate who played for Corban College this season, is one of a handful of Phoenix Valkyrie competitors participating in their final Rogue Valley Cup.

I would like to win, said Wihtol said, but mostly it's just for fun.

This is my last chance to play with some of my friends. It's kinda sad.

Wihtol will attend the University of Oregon next year and will cease playing collegiately, although she plans on continuing competition at the club level.

The Phoenix team is made up of players from six different schools in the area, including North Medford, Phoenix, St. Mary's, Crater, Hidden Valley and North Valley.

This year's Valkyrie squad is a combination of competitors from its winter and spring club leagues.

Most of the players, however, made their debut as a team on Saturday.

We never really practiced together, said North Valley senior Kayla Wilhelm, who is making her third Rogue Valley Cup appearance and has played for Phoenix Valkyrie's club team the last two winters. We just came together.

I think some of us were nervous about it and not on the same page.

I just play to have fun and because I love soccer, Wilhelm added. Today I thought we played pretty well.

Against Nevada, Phoenix missed two golden opportunities to break up a scoreless halftime tie.

Just minutes into the second half, Wilhelm took a feed from Raquel Robles in front of the net and whirled around for an attempt on goal. But the shot sailed high ' a theme that would haunt the Valkyrie throughout the second stanza.

Phoenix's Shae Miller also sent a shot high and wide on a contested left-footed blast midway through the second half.

We had our chances, said Karen Seeley. We just couldn't capitalize. We were close but not there.

Nevada Pride found the net with about five minutes to play when Kleffman drilled a 35-foot laser over the outstretched hand of Phoenix keeper Melissa Henner for a 1-0 advantage.

Phoenix's final attempt off the foot of Shauna Spano with under two minutes to play sailed right into the hands of Nevada's goalkeeper.

It's a hard loss, said Seeley. We really needed it to stay in for tomorrow's competition.

Also in U19 girls Premier, RVSC Fuego, which became the first Rogue Valley team to win the State Cup in seven years three weeks ago, went 1-1 Sunday to advance to today's third-fourth place match against RVSC Fury. United from Grants Pass will face Fusion from Arcata, Calif., in today's title match.

All championship games begin at 10 a.m. at fields in Medford and Ashland.

GIRLS

U-11 ' Freedom, Grants Pass, d. RVSC Alliance, Medford, 9-0; RVSC Grizzlies, Medford, d. Diamonds, Carson City, Nev., 5-0; RVSC Tigers, Medford, d. RVSC Alliance, 3-0; Freedom, d. Diamonds, 7-1; RVSC Grizzlies, d. Tigers, 2-1.

U-12 CLASSIC ' Sting, Phoenix, d. Synergy, Sparks, Nev., 2-0; Carson City Madness, Carson City, Nev. d. RVSC Storm, Medford, 3-0; RVSC Lightning, Medford, tied Liberty, Grants Pass, 2-2; Carson City Madness, d. Sting, 2-0; Liberty, d. Synergy, 1-0; RVSC Storm, d. RVSC Lightning, 2-0; RVSC Lightning, d. RVSC Storm, 2-0.

U-12 PREMIER ' RVSC Hot Cleats, Medford, d. Tahoe Angels, Truckee, Calif., 8-0; Chaos, Grants Pass, d. RSU Crush, Reno, Nev., 6-1; SRU Gold 94, Santa Rosa, Calif., d. RVSC Hot Cleats, 4-0; RSU Crush, tied Tahoe Angels, 1-1; SRU Gold 94, d. Chaos, 5-1.

U-13 PREMIER ' RVSC Crushers, Medford, d. Odyssey, Reno, Nev., 8-1; ASC Picante, Ashland, d. D-Feeters, Reno, Nev., 2-1; Nitros, Grants Pass, d. RVSC Blue Ice, Medford, 8-1; RVSC Crushers, d. D-Feeters, 2-0; Odyssey, d. RVSC Blue Ice, 4-1; Nitros, d. ASC Picante, 5-1.

U-14 CLASSIC-PREMIER ' ASC Tsunami, Ashland, d. RSA Angels, Roseburg, 5-0; Explosion, Carson City, Nev., tied Clover, Grants Pass, 0-0; Alston Villa, Clackamas, d. Freedom, Carson City, Nev., 1-0; Flash, Phoenix, d. Quick Silver, Grants Pass, 1-0; Titans, Sparks, Nev., tied ASC Tsunami, 1-1; Explosion, Carson City, Nev., d. Sting, Phoenix, 1-0; Freedom, Carson City, Nev., d. PCU Pressure, Portland, 4-0; Quick Silver, d. PCU Pressure, 2-0; Sting, d. Clover, 4-1; Titans, d. RSA Angels, 4-1,

U-15 PREMIER ' MRU Destiny, Arcata, Calif., d. Sierra Storm, Incline Village, Nev., 2-0; Heat 90, Bend, d. Elements United, Garderville, Nev., 5-0; RVSC FCSO United, Medford, d. Blackhills GC, Olympia, Wash., 2-0; MRU Destiny, d. Elements United, 2-0; RVSC FCSO United, d. Sierra Storm, 5-0; Blackhills FC, d. Heat 90, 1-0.

U-16 PREMIER ' Carson Force, Carson City, Nev., d. TRSC Arsenal, Central Point, 1-0; Goalistas, Bend, d. GPYSA Fusion, Grants Pass, 2-1; MRU Myst, Arcata, Calif., d. RVSC Mystic, Medford, 2-0; RVSC FCSO United, Medford, d. Carson Force, 6-0; RVSC Mystic, d. GPYSA Fusion, 1-0; Goalistas, d. TRSC Arsenal, 3-0; RVSC FCSO United, tied MRU Myst, 1-1.

U-19 CLASSIC ' Riptide, Gardnerville, Nev., d. BUSC, Klamath Falls, 1-0; RVSC United, Medford, d. Raiders, Sparks, Nev., 2-1; Freedom, Sparks, Nev. tied TRSC Tsunami, Central Point, 1-1; BUSC, d. Eclipse, Reno, Nev. 4-1; Raiders, d. Freedom, 4-0; RVSC United, d. Riptide, 3-2; Eclipse, tied TRSC Tsunami, 1-1.

U-19 PREMIER ' RVSC Chaos, Medford, tied Redding Missfits, Redding, Calif., 0-0; RVSC Fury, Medford, tied Fusion, Arcata, Calif., 0-0; Nevada Pride, Tahoe City, Nev., d. Valkyrie, Phoenix, 1-0; United, Grants Pass, d. Blackhills FC, Olympia, Wash., 1-0; Ice, Reno, Nev., tied Redding Missfits, 1-1; Fusion, d. RVSC Chaos, 2-1; Nevada Pride, tied RVSC Fury, 0-0; Valkyrie, d. Blackhills, 3-2; United, d. Ice, 2-0.

BOYS

U-12 CLASSIC '

SAYS Select, Stockton, Calif., d. RVSC Revolution, Medford, 9-0; TNT, Grants Pass, d. RVSC Future Stars, Medford, 3-0; SAYS d. Carson Arsenal, Carson City, Nev., 5-0; RVSC Revolution d. RVSC Future Stars, 5-2; Carson Arsenal, d. TNT, 3-0.

U-12 PREMIER ' Kryptonite, Grants Pass, d. Earthquakes, Gardnerville, Nev., 4-3; TRSC Hornets, Central Point, d. RVSC Explosion, Medford, 1-0; RVSC Pumas, Medford, d. White Out, Carnelian Bay, Calif., 1-0; RVSC Predators, Medford, Reno Rattlers, Reno, Nev., 7-0; Eclipse, Phoenix, d. SSC Blaze, Bend, 2-1; White Lightening, Folsom, Calif., d. Steelheads, Arcata, Calif., 3-1; White Out d. Earthquakes, 3-2; Reno Rattlers d. RVSC Explosion, 4-0; Kryptonite, d. SSC Blaze, 6-0; Eclipse 1, d. RVSC Pumas, 1-0; Steelheads, d. TRSC Hornets, 3-1; White Lightning, d. RVSC Predators, 1-0.

U-13 PREMIER ' SCA 93, Santa Rosa, Calif., d. RVSC Blackhawks, Medford, 4-1; Grants Pass Rapids d. Reno Heat, Reno, Nev., 2-0; Tahoe Ice, Lake Tahoe, Calif., d. RSA Flames, Roseburg, 2-1; MRU Steelheads, Arcata, Calif., d. SRU United 93 Blue, Santa Rosa, Calif., 1-0; Tahoe Ice d. Rapids, 3-0; SCA 93, d. Flames, 4-0; RVSC Blackhawks 2, MRU Steelheads, 2-0; SRU United 93 Blue, d. Reno Heat, 3-0.

U-14 PREMIER ' ASC Airborne, Ashland, d. TRSC Crew, Central Point, 6-0; Carson Avalanche, Carson City, Nev., d. RVSC Twisters, Medford, 5-0; RVSC Fuego, Medford, d. RSU United 92, Reno, Nev., 3-1; Tsunami, Reno, Nev., d. RVSC Strikers, Medford, 1-0; Carson Avalanche tied RVSC Fuego, 2-2; RSU United 92 d. TRSC Crew, 4-0; Airborne, tied Strikers, 0-0; Tsunami, d. RVSC Twisters, 3-1.

U-16 PREMIER ' SAYS Select, Stockton, Calif., d. Wolf Pack, Reno, Nev., 4-0; Reno Falcons, Reno, Nev., tied RVSC United, Medford, 2-2; Velocity, Carson City, Nev., d. RSU Orange, Reno, Nev., 3-0; ASC Iguanodons, Ashland, d. RVSC Galaxy, Medford, 4-0; RVSC United d. Velocity, 1-0; SAYS Select d. RSU Orange, 1-0; Wolf Pack, tied RVSC Galaxy, 1-1; ASC Iguanodons, d. Falcons, 5-3.

U-17 PREMIER ' Outkast, Phoenix, d. TRSC Azteca, Central Point, 5-0; Chelsea LT, Lake Tahoe, Calif., d. Reno Zephyrs, Reno, Nev., 2-0; MRU FC 17, Arcata, Calif., d. RVSC FCSO United, Medford, 2-1; RVSC Crew, Medford, d. Inferno, Carson City, Nev., 3-1; RVSC FCSO United d. Reno Zephyrs, 2-0; MRU FC 17, d. TRSC Azteca, 1-0; Outkast, d. Inferno, 3-2; RVSC Crew, tied Chelsea LT, 0-0.

U-19 PREMIER ' Ashland 19 d. Strikers, Tigard, 2-1; RVSC Centaurs, Medford, tied CV Atlas, Gardnerville, Nev., 1-1; Grants Pass Heat d. North Point FC, Palo Cedro, Calif., 2-0; RVSC United 19 tied Strikers, 1-1; RVSC Centaurs d. Heat, 3-1; CV Atlas d. Ashland 19, 2-0; North Point FC, d. RVSC United 19, 4-1.

Goalie Wars Results

Saturday

BOYS

U-19 '

Travis Billey, Grants Pass Heat; U-17 ' Christian Volker, Carson City Inferno; U-16 ' Alex Martinez, Reno Falcons; U-14 ' Ben Kohls, Reno Tsunami; U-13 ' Parker Thomas, RVSC Blackhawks; U-12 ' Mitch North, RVSC Eclipse.

GIRLS

U-19 '

Megan Ross, RVSC Chaos FC Southern Oregon Fuego; U-16 ' Amanda Malfatti, Mad River Risk; U-15 ' Amanda Caraway, FC Southern Oregon; U-14 ' Alissa Farber, Grants Pass Quicksilver; U-13 ' Annika Hearn, ASC Picante; U-12 ' Sarah Hubbard, Lightning; U-11 ' Brittnay (no last name given), Carson City Diamonds.

Phoenix Valkyrie comes up short "kgoff@mailtribune.com.

Kayla Wilhelm of Phoenix Valkyrie, left, drops down to slip a kick past a Nevada defender during Sunday?s U19 Premier action at North Medford High.