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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Tyrone Freshman Advance to Nationals in Club Soccer

Freshman Olivia Newlin and Allie Blaska competed at a USYS National event in Orlando in December
FC 814 Energy u16 girls team

Two Tyrone High School students are competing at one of the highest levels of US Youth Soccer as members of two different regional club teams.

Freshman Olivia Newlin and freshman Allie Blaska traveled to Florida in December to play in the US Youth Soccer National Conference Playoffs at the ESPN World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

Newlin plays for FC814 Energy U16 girls, and Blaska is a member of the Penn FC U15 girls team.

The team works very well together, the communication and willingness to win was strong. I thought I played very well defensively as an outside midfielder, and overall had good passing throughout the tournament

— Freshman Olivia Newlin

To qualify for this event, teams had to finish either at the top of their USYS conference or win their state’s annual USYS State Cup tournament.

Blaska’s team qualified by finishing first in their EDP Mid-Atlantic Conference age group, while Newlin’s team did both, winning the 2023 U16 Pennsylvania West State Cup and finishing first in their age group in Great Lakes Conference league play.

Newlin’s team Energy had a great run at the tournament, going undefeated in three games, scoring five goals with only one goal against.

Team Energy beat Brevard SA Elite 2008G from Florida 1-0, National Union 08 Girls Black from Michigan 2-1, and Rockville Centre Soccer Club Red Storm of South Carolina 2-0.

By winning their bracket at the National Conference Playoffs, they will advance to the champions bracket at the USYS PRO National Semifinals in Tampa, FL in February. The top teams from that event will return to Orlando this July to face winners from the West Coast National PRO Semifinals for the 2024 USYS National Championship.

Newlin just joined Energy this fall, so this was her first major tournament as a member of the team, but Head Coach Marc Frye said that Newlin is already contributing to their success.

“Olivia plays with a very high soccer IQ, and does a great job keeping our offense and defense connected,” Frye said.

Newlin says she is excited to join the team, which has also allowed her to get to know other players from across the region.

“The team works very well together, the communication and willingness to win was strong,” Newlin said “I thought I played very well defensively as an outside midfielder, and overall had good passing throughout the tournament.”

Team Energy belongs to the local FC814 Soccer Club based in Altoona, which is part of the PA West Conference. The team comprises local players from several area high school teams.

They are currently ranked first in PA West, 32nd in the region, and 53th in the nation for their (u16) age group. 

In addition to Newlin, the team has four players from Bishop Guilfoyle, two from Altoona, and one player each from the Bedford, Central, Penn Cambria, Forest Hills, Bishop Carroll, Cambria Heights, West Branch, and Glendale school districts.

The team also has another Tyrone connection in assistant coach Todd Cammarata, a teacher at Tyrone High School and the adviser to the Eagle Eye. His daughter, who attends Bishop Guilfoyle High School, is a midfielder/defender and has been on the team since it was formed in 2016.

Fellow Tyrone freshman Allie Blaska’s team had a great season but unfortunately ended up on the losing end of all three of their matches at the tournament. However, the team played well, losing two of the three games by just one goal.

I think I played pretty well. I got one goal in the first game. I think that we could’ve had better defense, but overall we tried and it was a good experience

— Freshman Allie Blaska

Penn FC dropped a close 2-1 match against Fort Wayne Sport Club FWSC 2009G Dresden from Indiana in which Blaska scored her team’s only goal.

They also lost a 3-2 decision to Legacy 2009 Girls Pride from Massachusetts and finished the tournament with a 2-0 loss to Phoenix FC 2009 Girls from Alabama.

Blaska, who plays left wing and striker for her club team, said “I think I played pretty well. I got one goal in the first game. I think that we could’ve had better defense, but overall we tried and it was a good experience.”

Blaska’s team is part of the Penn FC Soccer Club based in Lower Dauphin, PA. The players are mostly from the Harrisburg area and play in the PA East Conference.

Her team is currently ranked 13th in PA East, 43rd in the region, and 76th in the nation for their (u15) age group.

Being on the team is a big commitment for Blaska and her family because of the travel time to the Harrisburg area for practice and games, but she joined the club because it has a long history of success.

“I tried out for Penn FC because they play at a high level of competition. There is a lot of good talent on my team and the club in general,” Blaska said.

Before joining Penn FC two years ago she played for a local Mountain District Union club team out of Altoona and State College.

Blaska said that she has a tournament coming up in March the FC Europa Cup in the Philadelphia area and the EDP Regional Showcase in New Jersey in April.

While both Newlin and Blaska will play for other teams throughout the spring and summer, they will come back together in the fall and play for the Lady Eagles during the high school season.

Penn FC u15 Girls (Carol Blaska)
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About the Contributor
Elayna Hess
Elayna Hess, Staff Writer
Layna Hess is a freshman at Tyrone Area School District. This is her first year in Eagle Eye. She is interested in taking photos, shopping, and dancing. Layna has been dancing since she was three. She is a part of the Main Street Dance Company, where she spends most of her free time. If she isn't at dance, you will see her hanging out with her closest friends. Her plans after high school are to go to college to become a professional dancer. During her time in Eagle Eye, she would like to cover dance, student spotlights, and news.

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