Montverde Academy’s 2014-2015 Lady Eagles Varsity Soccer team possessed many successful components – including supreme teamwork, excellent coaching instruction, and consistent individual contributions – that led to their incredible nationally ranked undefeated 19-0-1 season.  MVA junior Maria Santin, and sophomore Shayla Smart, have been using the summer break to further develop their soccer skills and knowledge as members of their native homeland international soccer teams.  Early this summer, Maria was invited to participate in Brazil’s U17 Girls National Team in an international round robin tournament.  In late June, Shayla Smart was asked to training camp with the Jamaican national women’s team. 

MVA’s Girls’ Varsity Soccer Head-Coach Robbie Aristodemo is very pleased with the amazing opportunities of these two Lady Eagle players. “This is very exciting news for Maria, and I know she will gain valuable international experience at the highest level; This invite speaks very well for our program – as more and more of our players are getting call-ups to their national teams.  This tournament is just a prep tournament to prepare her for bigger events in the future, hoping she can continually play well and make the team.  Either way, it’s a great experience for her, and great news for the Lady Eagles soccer program as well.  I’m also excited that Shayla had the opportunity to continually develop her game.  This experience will certainly help her grow as a player,” said Coach Robbie Aristodemo.

*In the team photo to the right of this paragraph, Maria Santin is the 10th girl (left to right) on the top row. To view an article about the Brazil’s U17 Girls National Team (*written in Portuguese), please visit HERE.

Shayla Smart’s invitational girls soccer camp occurred in nearby Orlando, Florida, and was held in preparation for Jamaica’s participation in the World Qualifiers taking place this August 19th-26th in the Caribbean.  Out of the winning qualifiers,  three separate teams will then advance from those competitions to the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament scheduled for January 2016.  The camp was held under the direction of Hue Menzies and was facilitated by Global Ambassador for Jamaica’ women’s football program, Cedella Marley, and the Bob Marley Foundation, whose fundraising made the planning and organization of the Jamaica girls soccer team possible.  

According to the non-profit’s mission statement, “From its incorporation in 1986, the Foundation has donated financially and culturally to various local organizations that share the vision of the Honorable Robert Marley O.M.  The Foundation shall continue to pursue the direction of a charitable organization in its operations and aim to fulfill all the requirements provided by the Jamaican government in its policy on such organizations. The Foundation manages its affairs by planning, promoting and implementing various activities such as art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops for cultural developments, and talent search programs.”

Montverde Academy’s 2014-2015 Lady Eagles Varsity Soccer team became the most successful girls’ sports team in MVA history.  Our Lady Eagles finished their season 19-0-1, and were the first MVA girls’ sports team to ever be ranked nationally.  The Lady Eagles were selected as the #1 ranked girls high-school soccer team in the United States by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.   They also finished #8 in the final USA TOP DRAWER SOCCER national girls soccer rankings.