Erin excels for Aussie Schoolgirls in Dallas
'We then had a few training sessions, and some friendly games, and became a very close-knit group quickly.'
Temporarily shifting her immediate focus last month from year 12 assessments to representing her country in football, Sydney’s Moriah College student Erin Gordon, and her fellow Australian U19 Schoolgirls team, made a real mark – against the odds – in the 2023 Dallas Cup international youth tournament in Texas.
The Aussies finished runners-up, and Gordon played in all their matches, was captain in two, and was named the Aussies’ player of the final.
The skilful central defender – and 2022 Junior Matildas member – told The AJN it was a privilege to represent the Australian Schoolgirls, and “everyone in the team can feel very proud of how we played”.
“Just reaching the final was amazing, because we went into the tournament not expecting to do as well as that, as we’d met for the first time, as a whole squad, at the airport [in Dallas],” Gordon said.
“We then had a few training sessions, and some friendly games, and became a very close-knit group quickly.
“You could tell that from round one, by the way we clicked on the field.”
The draw’s three pools featured two teams from England, one Mexican side, four Texan clubs, and a US 18 girls’ national development team.
In the prelim rounds, Australia beat the Texas Renegades 2-1, and Dallas FC 2-1, and had a 1-1 draw with Prepa Tec from Mexico.
Then, in what Gordon describes as “my favourite moment of the tournament”, Australia won its semi-final in a penalty shootout against the US Born in 2005 girls’ Olympic development national select team, after scores were locked at 1-1 at full-time.
Unfortunately, injuries forced some key players in the Aussies’ squad out of the final, which they lost 0-4 to Texan side Solar Blue Ancheta.
Gordon said it was a great experience defending against the American players, “who play a different, more physical and direct, style of football, and I think are picked more on their athletic ability first”.
“I’d say our squad’s strength was our teamwork, skill level, and effective tactical game.”
Gordon returned to the 2023 NPL NSW women’s season last weekend for the Football NSW Institute’s U18 girls’ side, which she is captaining this year.
“It’s been a big step up being captain in every game, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”