The players on the girls CDO Edge Soccer Club team are gearing up to represent Arizona at the Region IV President’s Cup competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week.

The team’s coach, Steve Wallace, is excited about his girls winning their first state championship in March and now moving on to the next level.

“I’ve been excited for about three months now,” Wallace said last week. “The big thing for me is I really like the President’s Cup concept because it gives clubs like ours a chance to go and compete with clubs of similar standing.”

Within this competition in Arizona, it excludes the very top tier level consisting of six teams, which are usually farmed from clubs consisting of thousands of players whereas the CDO Edge Soccer Club has a few hundred members.

“Our objective is to help players find what they want to do in soccer,” explained Wallace. “Some people would love to continue playing beyond the end of high school and college; they would love to keep playing. There are others who want to compete at the highest possible level, and others who just want to go out and kick around with friends.”

Despite coming from different Northwest schools, including Ironwood Ridge and Mountain View high schools and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, the girls all get along and spend time with each other outside of soccer practice.

Madison McEldowney, 16, is a forward on the team and attends Ironwood Ridge.

“We don’t really fight very often, we work really well together, and we usually keep the ball pretty well,” McEldowney said. This is her third year playing on the team.

During the state game, Wallace said McEldowney hit a shot “out of nowhere,” that went in for a score and put the team on the board against the Arizona Hammers from Phoenix.

Up until that point, Wallace wasn’t too impressed with his team’s playing, but after that, the girls came together to score two more goals before the first half.

Dana Corona, 16, who is a center defender on the team, got really excited once the game started to change.

“After the first goal we were like, ‘OK, we can do this now,’” she said.

After the second and third goals, the team felt confident they had the win in the bag.

“After the third goal, it was like, ‘yes, we have a good lead, now we can calm down, keep the ball, be patient with it and not tire ourselves out.’ So we passed the ball around and made the other team tire themselves out trying to get the ball back,” Corona said.

The team hasn’t traveled too much outside of Tucson. The few exceptions were a tournament in California and some in Phoenix. The opportunity to travel to Utah is a treat all on its own, but their real adrenaline rush will come from competing in the Regionals, where they will play against Utah on Wednesday, Colorado on Thursday and Idaho on Friday.

“It’s Regionals, how can you not be excited about that?” Corona asked. “We are going to be there representing Arizona in a regional tournament. I really hope we can win. That would be so cool.”

If the girls win, they will move on to represent Region IV in the National President’s Cup.

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