Kings Hammer soccer winning at regional, national stage
James Weber, firstname.lastname@example.org 1:21pm EDT July 1, 2014
WILDER – As director of women's soccer coaching at Kings Hammer Academy, which is based in Wilder, Tiffany Roberts and her fellow coaches have had a busy time of late.
Five teams competed in the recent U.S. Youth Soccer Region II championships in Beavercreek, Ohio. Roberts is listed as head coach of three of them, but she and her staff help with every team. One of them, the U17 girls team, advanced to the national championships to occur in late July in Washington, D.C.
"I see them every week," she said. "I see all of our groups at least once a week and I see as many of their games as I can. We have a great group of directors and coaches in the program. We do everything we can to be creative and stay sharp. I'm good on the defensive side and others are good at attacking."
The U17 team, coached by Jon Pickup, won games by scores of 13-0 and 5-0 in the regional tourney before losing 4-0 to a team from Iowa. The U17 squad has one of Northern Kentucky's top incoming seniors in Lauren Nemeroff (Dixie Heights) and many of Cincinnati's top players, including a good number from Oak Hills High School.
Having finished runners-up the last two years, the GU17's hope to win their first national championship in 2014. Despite not advancing from the Beavercreek tournament, the U17 team qualified by winning league play.
"They've gone the last three years," Roberts said. "Hopefully this is the year we finish first. All our teams are doing pretty well."
This includes Roberts' U16 girls, who reached the regional semifinals after outscoring opponents 11-3 in three group-stage games. They're the first Kings Hammer team to advance that far in about six years, Roberts said.
"It's been great for those teams, good competition," she said. "All but one had a chance to go through on the final day. Most of our teams go to regionals, we can't get past the group. We're usually in a group of death in that region. They all did pretty well."
Roberts also coached the U18 team that went 2-1 in group play in Beavercreek but did not advance to the playoffs. Her U14 girls had a loss and two ties in the tourney, and the U15 team, coached by Chris Black, went 1-1-1.
The five girls teams combined for three division titles in their main Premier League, and three championships in the Ohio State South Cup.
The U13 and U16 boys teams also won Ohio state championships. Kings Hammer Academy boys U13 and U16 Red teams captured State Cup championships in Ohio and Kentucky respectively.
Roberts was formerly an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati. She played for Santa Clara, where she was an all-conference pick, helping the school to the NCAA Tournament all four of her seasons, including the 2004 national semifinals. She joined Kings Hammer while getting her Master's Degree at Xavier University.
"The sport is obviously growing, for sure. It's been interesting to watch," she said. "There is a lot of talent in this city. Kids are wanting to learn. We have a great group of parents and kids in the club."
This is obviously a fun time for anyone involved in soccer. Roberts picked Argentina to win the World Cup and is enjoying the whole tournament.
"I enjoy watching the games. It's been good for the U.S. and everyone else," she said. "Our kids are talking about it a lot and it's great competition."
The following are the rosters and committments of the team that went further than any KHA team has at regionals in six years and the team heading to nationals, as reported by the usyouthsoccer.org website.
KHA GU16 Red - Mary Alf (University of Cincinnati), Alexandra Carrier (University of Illinois, Champaign), Peighton Cook, Jessica DeJesus, Meredith Glover, Elizabeth Greenwell (University of Cincinnati), Haley Jordahl, Ashley Justice, Melanie Langan, Jamiera Lunsford, Caroline Mink (University of Dayton), Haley Moses, Carly Noel, Alexandra Powell, Anna Richards, Victoria Scheu, Michelle Washburn (Morehead State University) and Camille Williams.
KHA GU17 Red - Payton Atkins (University of Kentucky), Madison Baumgardner (Wake Forest University), Hanna Beck, Haley Best (Morehead State University verbal), Patrice Dipasquale, Bayley Feist (Wake Forest), Sydney Goins (University of Cincinnati), Taylor Greene (Northern Kentucky University), Sydney Kilgore (Indiana University, Bloomington), Makenna Lavatori (Morehead State), Brittany Mahoney (Kent State), Kristy McCullah, Katie Murray (University of Illinois, Champaign), Lauren Nemeroff (University of Kentucky), Kelly Polacek (Indiana State), Lauren Rice (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Maria Schriebeis (Winthrop) and Sarah Seedhouse (Morehead State).