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Kettle Run grad Szwejkowski wins girls soccer national title with VSA Heat

Thursday, Jul. 31 | By Jeff Malmgren
As a college freshman, Ivana Szwejkowski used a redshirt this past fall and did not play for the George Washington University women’s soccer team.

She got plenty of run this summer, however, for her VSA Heat Blue U19 travel team.

In fact, Szwejkowski helped the Heat win the U.S. Youth Soccer national tournament championship Saturday. A 2013 Kettle Run graduate, Szwejkowski played defensive midfield for a Heat team that shut out Chicago Academy-Botafogo of Illinois, 1-0, in the national title match.

“She’s so good defensively,” said VSA Heat coach Steve Smith, who also previously coached Szwejkowski at Kettle Run. “She would do a lot of the dirty work and cover a lot of field. …. That allowed us to have two attacking midfielders.”

That lineup helped the Heat push the tempo. So, in the opening 10 minutes, VSA’s Autumn Berry scored the game-winning goal following a corner kick.

The Heat began the tournament with a 2-0 win over the SSA Chelsea 95 Elite of Georgia in group play. Later in group play, they tied Chicago, 1-1, and beat Legends FC of California, 3-1, to advance to the national championship match.

Szwejkowski’s Heat team also beat California in the final of the 2012 USYS U17 national tournament to win that championship. Her team lost in a national final last summer to Chicago Academy-Botafogo.

Szwejkowski will next return to her George Washington team for its fall season. Smith said Szwejkowski played significant minutes during the Colonials’ spring session.

“I think they're really looking to have her step up in this fall,” he said.

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