Briarwood sweeps for 19-U soccer gold

Total dominance is the best way to describe the Briarwood Ambassadors ’91 girls’ club soccer team’s performance Saturday and Sunday in the Alabama Sports Festival.

Briarwood scored 10 goals and allowed just two in a three-game pool play sweep to win the 19-under gold medal.

“I wanted to go into this tournament as kind of a way to figure out my team and learn what I need to work on prior to the (club) season starting in a month,” Briarwood head coach Jeff Samoranski said.

The Ambassadors opened the tournament against the Bullets from Irondale, a team mostly compiled of college players.

Briarwood possessed the ball through most of the game, allowing just one goal in a 3-1 victory. The win was the eventual deciding factor between gold and silver.

Callie Richie, a goalkeeper at Briarwood Christian School, played in goal for the Ambassadors.

“Even though we dominated and controlled possession, Callie had to face some tough shots and make a couple of good saves,” Samoranski said. “She kept us in the game a lot with her ability to stop shots and distribute the ball.”

Richie helped record a shutout win, 4-0, over the Moody Blue Devils in the Ambassadors’ second game to clinch the gold medal.

Briarwood won its third game, 3-1, over the Huntsville Blazers.

Kara Samoranski led the Ambassadors with two goals and three assists, while Alex Vawter and Emma Gambrell each had two goals. Brandi Neeley, Kacey Chance, Erin Fondren and Kiki Berryhill each had a goal.

Samoranski, who was coaching in his first ASF, also coached the Pell City 12-under team to gold.

The Ambassadors will represent Alabama in the Southeast Sports Festival, hosted in Tallahassee, Fla., Aug. 1-3.

Briarwood’s girls also took silver in the 14-under division.

All games were played off Riverchase Parkway.