The U.S. U-18 & Wisconsin standout has her team primed & ready for the 2010 Final FourSACRAMENTO, CA (07/29/10) -
The first National Semifinal at 5:00 PM (CST) in Saturday's Final Four pits two teams at the top of their respective "genres" in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL)
- the F.C. Milwaukee Nationals (10-1-0) and Boston Aztec Breakers Reserves (10-1-1). The former are one of the top youth clubs in the nation, and the latter has translated their affiliation with Boston of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) into one of the strongest senior teams in the United States.
Whether the team is purely amateur or semi-pro, a quality player is quality while team-work & leadership are keys in both levels of play. There's no better an example of a player who combines these qualities than the Nationals' team captain Laurie Nosbusch
, a star for club, college (University of Wisconsin) and country.
Nosbusch had an impressive Big Ten Conference season last fall for the Wisconsin Badgers, being named All-Big Ten Second Team while scoring six goals during league play - including her first career hat-trick in a 3-2 victory over No. 19 Indiana. She'll face a familiar face on the other side of the pitch this Saturday in fellow Second Team selection & former Indiana University defender Kelly Lawrence
, who now plays for the Breakers Reserves.
The Mequon, WI native finished the regular season leading the Badgers in nearly every scoring category, including points (17). The member of the U.S. U-18 & U-20 Women's National Teams is no stranger to the Nationals, as she was team captain for club as they won five consecutive State Championships (2004-2008), and three Midwest Regional League Championships (2004, 2005, 2007).
We got a chance to chat with the F.C. Milwaukee captain prior to this weekend's Final Four at UT-Dallas (Richardson, TX). Stay tuned as later today we'll announce our 2010 All-Midwest Teams:Q: With your team qualifying for the WPSL Final Four in its first season, F.C. Milwaukee is one of the few teams in league history to accomplish that feat. Is it because of the fact that most of the Nationals' players also played together in club ball?A:
I think the fact that many of us played together on youth club teams for many years has definitely helped our WPSL team be successful. One of the most important parts of playing on a team is knowing each of your teammates' personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Only then, can you achieve the team chemistry needed to compete at a high level. The fact that many of us knew each other helped kick-start this process; however, we still had to make an effort to learn to play with new teammates and fill new roles.Q: F.C. Milwaukee has reeled off an impressive streak of nine victories going into this weekend's Final Four. What has been the trademark of the teams' success? Defense leading the offense, vice versa or has it been total "futbol," so to say?A:
Our team has been able to win nine games in a row because we have been able to adapt to different teams. I think our strength is being able to do what is necessary to win the game. When we need to defend, we can drop people back and defend hard. When we need to attack & score a goal, we are able to send numbers forward and create opportunities. Our coaches have given us great tactical information and the players have been able to execute.Q: For both club & college, it appears that you have two head coaches that you really can learn from. How has F.C. Milwaukee's Christian Lavers & Wisconsin's Paula Wilkins helped in your development?A:
Christian has been my club coach since I was U-16. Therefore, he has had a huge impact in my development as a player and a leader. Christian knows what level of commitment and focus is necessary to be a great player & team, and has always demanded that we play at that level. He prepared my teammates and I for college soccer very well. Paula - my UW soccer coach - has also taught me a lot. She has taught all of us at Wisconsin what it takes to rebuild a program. Paula and our assistant coaches have also helped me through individual training sessions and film review.Q: What are your biggest strengths as a soccer player? What's the most important lesson you've learned from this game?A:
I think my biggest strength as a soccer player is my work ethic. I know that even when I am not having the best game technically, I can still be dangerous by making hard runs off the ball and out-working defenders. The most important lesson I have learned from soccer is that when a group of people fights with everything they have to achieve their goal, the experience is much more important than the outcome.Q: F.C. Milwaukee is facing a stiff challenge this Saturday in the first National Semifinal at the Final Four from a pure "senior" team - the semi-pro Boston Aztec Breakers Reserves. What will be the key to your team's success?A:
The key to our success will be to continue to do what we do well. We are a hard-working, organized team that wins 50/50 balls, connects passes and fights to the end. We just have to play as a team and be ready to adapt to challenges.
All tickets for the 2010 WPSL Final Four can be purchased at the gate and pricing packages include: $10 for any single game; $15 One-Day Pass (for either the Semifinals OR National Consolation/Final); $25 Event Pass (all four games). In case of inclement weather, the alternate venue for the WPSL National Championship Tournament will be John Paul II High School. Full WPSL Playoff & Final Four information is provided below:BIG SKY CONFERENCE FINALPhoenix Del Sol (5-1-2, North Champion) @ Oklahoma Alliance F.C. (7-1-0, South Champion)
Date/Time: Thursday, July 29 @ 7:00 PM (CST)
Venue: Edmond Soccer Club (Field #4)
Address: 1502 W. Danforth Road, Edmond, OK 73003WPSL NATIONAL SEMIFINALSBoston Aztec Breakers Reserves (10-1-1, East Champion) vs. F.C. Milwaukee Nationals (10-1-0, Midwest Champion)
Date/Time: Saturday, July 31 @ 5:00 PM (CST)
Venue: University of Texas-Dallas
Address: 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080Ajax America (8-3-1, Pacific Champion) vs. Big Sky Champion
Date/Time: Saturday, July 31 @ 7:00 PM (CST)
Venue: University of Texas-DallasWPSL NATIONAL CONSOLATION
Date/Time: Sunday, August 1 @ 10:30 AM (CST)
Venue: University of Texas-Dallas
Address: 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080WPSL NATIONAL FINALSemifinal #1 WINNER vs. Semifinal #2 WINNER
Date/Time: Sunday, August 1 @ 1:00 PM (CST)
Venue: University of Texas-DallasAbout the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL):
The WPSL is a 50-plus team national league with five conferences starting in 2010 and is the largest women's soccer league in the world. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA)
as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF)
. The WPSL's mission is to provide the highest level of soccer in our effort to: bring affordable & quality family entertainment to the community; display positive role models for our youth; while, being a stepping stone for aspiring professional & international-level players.
For more information, visit our official website at http://www.wpsl.info, phone us at 1-800-854-0913 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep up with our league on our social media networking sites on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!!
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Molten is the Official Championship Ball of the 2010 WPSL Final Four and is also a Proud Partner of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), and is the Official Soccer Ball of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Visit their official website at http://www.moltenusa.com for more information on their full line of products.