Sixteen Wilton girls have returned from the 2014 San Marino Cup in Italy with great news. Not only did the youth athletes achieve second place in the their bracket, but they gained cultural exposure, valuable life experiences, and well deserved pride in their skills as soccer players. The girls faced teams from around the world from Italy to Canada, Libya, and Norway, and their talents shone as they made it to the semi-finals after a hard series of games.

The athletes that attended the San Marino Cup were Lauren Chiappetta, Anna Cocoros, Victoria Curley, Lacey Eller, Taylor Floyd, Caitlin Gilroy, Eva Greco, Cara Kilmartin, Madeline LeBeau, LillyMacDonald, Emme McClintock, Olivia Roman, Sofie Schmidt, Ana Sudano, Thaise Sudano, and Chloe Zimmermann. Their coach, Abby Allan, and Soccer Extreme president John Salvatore accompanied them.

The team traveled to Tuscany, Rimini, San Marino, Florence and Venice, and the cultural experiences gained on the trip helped the girls better understand how intensely ingrained soccer is in some cultures, and the team exchanged jerseys with an Italian team.

Allan expressed the value of such an experience. “Competing on an international level has been a great experience for the girls; not only did they get a taste of how soccer is played in other countries but they also experienced some camaraderie with the other teams as well.”

Salvatore returned full of enthusiasm for the value of the experience for the players. “I am so proud of the these girls for the way they handled themselves both as players and members of our community in another country.  It was very rewarding to share this experience with the parents who joined us. As the Wilton High School coach and coaching director of Wilton, seeing the girls compete and grow from this type of exposure will serve them well for years to come. We are looking to provide more opportunities like this to other players and family members,” Salvatore said.

Allan explained the inspirational value of the trip and its future potential, not just for the players that went this year, but for younger players coming up the ranks. “We want this to become a yearly opportunity for our future players.”

This summer also marks the girls’ transition from eighth grade to high school, and their parents and coaches saw the experience as a great way to inspire other young athletes with similar aspirations, as well as encourage these sixteen players to continue their involvement in sports.

In a press release, the Wilton United Team thanked community sponsors who supported the team and helped to defray some of the expenses associated with the trip to Italy.

Platinum:  Stew Leonard’s

Gold Sponsors:

Blue Buffalo
Crown Imports
Marly’s Restaurant
Orem’s Diner
Village Market
Walter Schalk School of Dance

Silver Sponsors:

Ann Marie and Rich Francia
Bankwell Wilton
B Chic
Bianca Wine Bar
Cactus Rose
Candlewood Dental Care
Caraluzzi’s Market
DaVersa Partners
Dan Smick Painting
Good Morning Nail Salon
Hinding Tennis
Oak & Almond Restaurant
Open House
Philips and Lambert Orthodontics
Sandak, Hennessey & Greco
The Anda Family
The Nani Family
Village Luncheonette
Wilton Auto & Tire Center
Wilton Farms Deli
Wilton Hardware
Wilton Sport Shop
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin
URA The Spa