By Ray Hamill — Girls soccer continues to flourish here on the North Coast with a record five local players in the same age division called up for this weekend’s Olympic Development Program tournament in SoCal.
The local contingent have all been involved with the ODP practice squad for several months, but this is the first time all five were called up together to the 18-player travel roster.
The Eureka quartet of Keylei Carroll, Klayre Barres, Aquene Tollefson and Brynn Hales all received an invite for the prestigious tournament, along with Fortuna’s Sarah Killfoil.
All five players are juniors.
“It is such a great opportunity for these girls to have a chance to get seen and get experience,” said Humboldt State head coach Paul Karver, who also coaches all five with Sequoia FC, a local travel club.
The five players will represent NorCal at the regional event, and if their team wins they will advance to the national tournament.
Four of the five also represented the NorCal ODP team at last month’s regional tournament in Phoenix, with Hales getting the call-up to the travel roster for the first time last week.
Carroll is in her second year with the ODP and has also played with the regional team, which includes the top players from the entire Western United States.
The Eureka junior recently received an invite to represent the region ODP team in Costa Rica, a very prestigious invite for a player from the North Coast.
The tenacious defender, who also played a key role in the Eureka girls’ memorable season on the basketball court, will be unable to make either ODP trip due to prior commitments.
The other four players are all expected to make the trip this weekend.