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Eleanor Jones leads club to second place finish at big California college showcase

NSC Impact dominate on way to final, fall in penalties

The success of a handful of local soccer girls has extended far beyond Oregon borders.

Last weekend, Nich Soccer Club's U17 Impact, which features three girls from Scappoose High School and a fourth from St. Helens, made their way to the final of the Davis College Showcase outside of Sacramento, Calif., before falling in penalty kicks.

The team, which includes Scappoose incoming seniors Eleanor Jones, Madison Verzino, Lauren Frank and incoming St. Helens senior Ashley Giesbers, dominated the early rounds of the tournament.

The Impact thumped Benicia Arsenal FC 5-0 in the opener on July 10 behind a brace from Jones, and goals from Giesbers, Taylor Cole and Salyna Blue. A rough field in the second game brought about a close contest with LA Galaxy Blues, the defending-champion club, later the same day — once again, with a brace from Jones to win 2-1.

The team then topped CD Slammers FC 1-0 in the final game of pool play on a — no surprise here — goal from Jones, with the assist to Verzino.

The semifinal was against a stronger opponent, ECNL Eagles FC, an elite and well-funded club from Southern California. Giesbers and Jones both scored in the 3-1 win, with an added assist from Giebsers to put the Impact in the final with Sagebrush FC.

According to the team's head coach and club director of coaching Nicholas Heffernan, the Impact's reputation preceded them. As a result, Sagebrush “parked the bus,” putting extra defenders behind the ball and working to stymie the dominant scoring efforts. The rouse worked, and Sagebrush went on to defeat the Impact in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw.

In all, Jones tallied six goals in five matches. Giesbers scored and assisted on a goal. Verzino and Frank each assisted on a goal.

Local contributors

Eleanor Jones, Scappoose, 6 goals

Ashley Giesbers, St. Helens, 1 goal, 1 assist

Madison Verzino, Scappoose, 1 assist

Lauren Frank, Scappoose, 1 assist