Meghan Cavanaugh competing at national soccer tournament

Meghan Cavanaugh, right, poses with an opponent from a team in Italy after Cavanaugh's team won a championship game in a recent soccer tournament in Italy. In the tournament, Cavanaugh, a Shenendehowa junior, played for a team made up of players from the United States' Northeast. (Photo provided)Meghan Cavanaugh, right, poses with an opponent from a team in Italy after Cavanaugh's team won a championship game in a recent soccer tournament in Italy. In the tournament, Cavanaugh, a Shenendehowa junior, played for a team made up of players from the United States' Northeast. (Photo provided)

— Ever since Meghan Cavanaugh can remember, she’s had a soccer ball at her feet and her eyes looking ahead at what’s to come. Rarely has there been a time when Cavanaugh, a senior at Shenendehowa, has been between teams.

“On to the next,” is her mantra.

After guiding her high school team to the Section II Class AA championship game this fall, what comes next for the 17-year-old is pretty big.

Cavanaugh, who plays club soccer for New York Elite FC, is competing this week at the Olympic Development Program Girls Thanksgiving Interregional tournament. The event — which runs until Friday at Spanish River Athletic Park and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. — brings together the top youth players from four regions across the country to play and train in front of coaches and decision-makers from U.S. Soccer national teams.

“I’m so excited for her,” Shenendehowa head coach Holli Nirsberger said. “This is a great opportunity; very few kids get this opportunity.”

Cavanaugh is a member of the tournament’s Region 1 team for her age group, which encompasses players from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas born in 1998. Five players from New York are on the team’s roster, with Cavanaugh the only player from the Capital Region.

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About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.