FUSION, the NRYS 8th grade girls’ team, made history by being the first to win the ECYSA championship title. Fusion went on to finish in the Final 4 of Division 1 in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions. Pictured in the front row from left to right is Maya Menis, Mackenzie Freedman, Ava Colbert, Sara Suny, Sydney Rech, Kiersten Higgins and Naomi Barber. In the back row from left is coach Guy Tassinari, Reilly Tassinari, Alison Lanciani, Mikaela O’Driscoll, Juliet Wasilewski, Taylor Osterlind, Quinlan Kelly, Jillian Corbett, Genevieve Arden, Mary Doble, coach Laura Doble and coach Ryan Osterlind. Missing from photo: Vasiliki Kouiroukidis. (Courtesy Photo)
LANCASTER — The North Reading Youth Soccer 8th Grade Girls’ Team, Fusion, reached new heights as they became the first 8th grade girls’ team from North Reading to win the Essex County Youth Soccer Association Championship title and ultimately finish in the Final 4 of the Division 1 State Championship in Lancaster.
Coming off an undefeated season, Fusion was at the top of Essex County’s MTOC 1.2 Division.
At the ECYSA tournament in Pingree, Fusion beat Woburn in a tense game that ended in double OT and a shootout to secure a spot in the Finals facing an undefeated MTOC 1.1 team from Newburyport the next day.
Fusion dominated, beating Newburyport 4-1 and claiming the ECYSA Championship title and securing a playoff berth at States.
At States, Fusion came in first place in their bracket and advanced to the Final Four, where they were edged 2-1 in a hard-fought semifinal match.
Being the first girls’ 8th grade team to win the ECYSA title, let alone advance to play in the Final Four of the Division 1 State Championship Tournament, it was an incredible achievement.
“These girls have grown up on the soccer fields together. They are a tight-knit team that consistently works hard, has developed so well over the years and has really good chemistry,” said coach Guy Tassinari. “They have come close several years to winning the ECYSA at Pingree and it was really great to see all their work come together and watch them advance so far especially in their last year before heading into high school.”
“They are all competitive players. They wanted this and they battled out there for it,” said coach Ryan Osterlind.
“What an incredible journey for these girls. I think of when they started and how they developed technically and together as a team and it’s just a great feeling to see them wrap up their youth soccer career with this accomplishment,” said coach Laura Doble.
Coaches Tassinari, Osterlind and Doble have been coaching these girls since they started playing in the NRYS program.