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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Local team headed to nationals

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

MEMPHIS -- The under 13 girls soccer team, the SMSC Bumblebees, traveled to the National Super Club's regional tournament in Memphis and came away with the top prize.

In the same bracket as the 'Bees was the number three team in Florida, the Destin Wave FC and that set up game one.

The Bumblebees are part of the Southeast Missouri Soccer Club and coached by Justin McMullen.

Having played only two games so far this spring, no one knew what to expect on their travels South.

Coach McMullen apparently had them in the right frame of mind.

The team tied Destin Wave 1-1, beat Ann Arbor Michigan 3-2, and defeated Memphis FC 3-0 to put them in the finals against St. Louis powerhouse Busch SC.

Busch has been the Missouri state champ the past two years. Coming up through their bracket they tied the No. 1 team from Arkansas, the Little Rock Mighty Bluebirds, dismantled a team from Tupelo, Miss., and then destroyed the SWU Comets from Lexena, Kan.

The last time Busch and 'Bees faced each other was in the 2001 state championship game. Busch did win that game, but it took 60 plus minutes of game time then two overtime periods.

The first half resembled more of a chess match than a soccer match did.

Each team seemed to be playing their best soccer. Both teams had their share of shots on goal, both had great defensive stands and each put together an impressive string of possession passes.

The first half ended in a 0-0 draw.

The second half was all Bumblebees, on both sides of the field.

The lone goal in the championship game came from Jordi Ferrell at the 18-minute mark. She came up the left side and beat three Busch defenders inside the 18-yard box then eyed the goalie.

As the goalie made a move to challenge, Jordi bent the ball around her into right side of the net.

With 17 minutes left the celebration was short lived. To finish the game Coach McMullen applied a more defensive mode. That goal ignited a fire in all the girls and they weren't about to let down.

It was a sight to behold; it was the best defensive stand anyone could ever hope to see.

Though Busch did get a couple corner kicks that could have developed into goals, they couldn't hit the net.

Throughout the game Coach McMullen knew the girls were playing possibly their best soccer. His few words of encouragement were, "We must stay composed and remember how hard you worked to get to this point. Know matter what happens, leave everything on the field."

The Busch team kept applying pressure, but the 'Bees kept stinging it right back out.

The SMSC Bumblebees allowed only three goals the entire tournament, and never trailed in any match. They won the championship over Busch 1-0.

The SMSC Bumblebees will now begin preparing for the National Super Club's Championships in July.

Team members include Lauren Drewett, Tierra Walker, Jordi Ferrell, Bobbi Jo Schlick, Jodi Urhahn, Hailey Pilsner, Megan Davidson, Chelsey Dale, Heather Diesher, Kaitlyn Turnbow, Jessica Holloway, Christin Jones, Lindsay Poole, Laura Lusk, and Abby Keifner.

They are coached by Mike Colon, Chuck Drewett, and head coach Justin McMullen.