Monday, June 08, 2009

A Special Weekend

We played in our first tournament of the summer this weekend. The Ina K in Anchorage.
It is always exciting and generally an eye opener. There we learn the competition we are in store for throughout the rest of the summer.

Both Cori and Cassi were looking forward to it and it proved to be as special as the come.

Here is the story of the tournament from the hosting club's web page:
The Ina Kristiansen Memorial Cup honors the memory of an outstanding young
woman who had an immense love of soccer and for life. Ina began playing soccer
when her father, Odd Kristiansen, coached a team for the Boys & Girls Club of
Anchorage. She was a member of the first Alaska Goldstrikers Soccer Club team and
played with that team in Colorado and Europe as well as Alaska.
An outstanding midfielder at Service High School from 1984 to 1987, Ina was an All-
Conference player for all four years, and elected team captain her senior year. Ina
also coached at Hanshew Junior High School alongside Mike Montgomery from 1984
to 1987. After high school, Ina tried out for the women’s varsity team at the
University of California, Santa Barbara. She did not make the team, but that did not
keep her form trying again and again. She played on several club teams and was the
head of intramural soccer at UCSB.
Ina Kristiansen, though small in stature, was an extremely strong player with an
endless amount of determination. She always gave 110% and pushed her
teammates to do the same. Ina had an intense attitude coupled with a huge heart.
She kept the teams she played on fired up and ready to play. Her biggest aspiration
was to share her knowledge of soccer and love of the sport with children. Ina
coached a Goldstrikers U-14 Girls team and dreamed of someday starting a youth
club, like the Goldstrikers, in Santa Barbara.
Ina was wearing the Goldstrikers uniform in her last official Alaskan soccer game as
her U-23 team competed for the State Open Championship. Her death on May 22,
1992, left her family, friends, and teammates with a desire to celebrate her love of
life and the competition of soccer with all who wished to take part. Those who knew
Ina will always remember her fighting spirit on and off the playing field.
This tournament is dedicated to the spirit and the enthusiasm with which Ina
Kristiansen lived her life, played soccer, and battled leukemia. She will be with us
The Ina K has become the traditional start of the outdoor soccer season in Alaska.
Like Ina herself, this tournament played in her honor, gets soccer players (and their
supporters) fired up and ready to play! As our club continues to grow and mature in
the form of the Alaska Rush Soccer Club, the Ina Kristiansen Memorial Cup tradition
will continue as an integral part of the Club's activities.

All teams are given 1 medal each to bestow upon 1 player from their team that represents the same qualities as Ina Kristiansen. The Holmes family was so fortunate to have both older girls selected to receive this honor.

Cassi's coach chose her as the recipient for her determination, sunny disposition in spite of struggle and for her leadership.

Cori's award was determined by the input of her two coaches, Cassi's coach and her teammates. She was in awe that she received the award as she had voted for her teammate, goalie and friend however was also confident that she'd played a fantastic tournament, dearly loves the game and her team. It was evident that she knew there were many on her team who were equally deserving.

Scott and I are so proud of them and so grateful, knowing that it is so hard to choose just one player when there are so many who leave everything on the field each and every game.

I know they will remember this honor all of their lives.

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