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Billings team 2nd in Denmark
HJØRRING, DENMARK -- The U17 Magic City European Tour girls took second place in Denmark's Dana Cup on Friday night, losing 6-5 on Saturday, July 25, in a penalty shootout to Uraedd FK of Porsgrunn, Norway.
The team is made up of 16 players ranging from 15 to 18 years old and is coached by Montana State University Billings women's head soccer coach Don Trentham. With the loss, the team finished the week with a 6-2 record in its 23-team bracket.
Both teams met earlier in the week in pool play with Uraedd FK winning 1-0 in a closely contested battle. Friday night's game was another equally fought game that saw the teams play to a 0-0 tie after regulation and two five-minute overtime periods in front of a crowd of 1,000 at Hjørring Stadium.
"After 12 games in 11 days the fatigue caught up with us," Trentham said after the game. "Uraedd did a good job of taking the game to us and we were forced to play a bit more defensive. Our goalkeeper Kaylee Kimmett and our entire team put in one of the best defensive efforts I have seen from a team in a long time."
Both teams traded a few chances in the first half, but for the most part the game was played in the midfield, Trentham said. In the second half, Uraedd FK began to control the flow and pinned Magic City in its defensive half. Kimmett made several saves to back up her teammates' strong defensive effort through the second half and the two overtime periods, he said.
For the third time on their European tour and the second day in a row, Magic City found itself in a penalty shootout. Like the day before, Magic City converted its first five attempts, however Uraedd FK did the same. Magic City's sixth kick was saved by the Uraedd FK goalkeeper, and when Uraedd FK's sixth kick went into the back of the net, Magic City's Dana Cup title hopes were gone.
"This group of players was a joy for me to work with over the past two weeks," Trentham said. "We leave Europe with a second place cup from a major international soccer tournament, and even more importantly with memories that will last a lifetime."
The team returns to Billings along with the three other Magic City European Tour teams on Sunday and Monday nights.