There are 16 Wilton girls looking forward to an exciting summer of opportunities to showcase their soccer talents. After an impressive 2012-13 season, the girls were invited to play at the San Marino Cup, a six-day tournament that is the largest youth soccer tournament for girls and boys in Europe, with more than 200 teams competing.

The girls’ parents have organized a fundraiser to help support the trip, tonight, April 8, at Marly’s Bistro (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.), 7-11 p.m.. Ten of the parents will be guest bartending and donating their tips; in addition there will be many exciting raffle items, including a session at Kristine Lilly’s Soccer Camp and a signed Magic Johnson jersey, as well as a silent auction gift baskets. Proceeds from this fundraising effort will go towards tournament entry fees, travel expenses, and uniforms.

Last year’s trip was postponed because of fundraising and scheduling hurdles so the girls are excited to be taking part mid-July.

This summer also marks the girls’ transition from eighth grade to high school, and their parents and coaches see 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.

The girls’ coach, Abby Allan, recognizes the inspirational value of the trip to both the players who are headed overseas as well as to younger girls who will be watching. “We want this to become a yearly opportunity for our future players.”

The athletes attending the 2014 San Marino Cup are Lauren Chiappetta, Anna Cocoros, Victoria Curley, Lacey Eller, Taylor Floyd, Caitlin Gilroy, Eva Greco, Cara Kilmartin, Madeline LeBeau, Lilly MacDonald, Emme McClintock, Olivia Roman, Sophia Schmidt, Ana Sudano, Thaise Sudano, and Chloe Zimmermann.  Allen. their coach, will accompany them along with Soccer Extreme president John Salvatore.

Anyone who can’t attend the event but wishes to support the team can make donations:  checks can be made out to “Italy Tour 2014” and sent to: Wilton Soccer Italy Tour 2014, c/o Leigh Anne Floyd, 67 Dudley Road, Wilton, CT 06897.