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INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

News Detail

19

Jun, 2021

Garcia and Ritzman Families Share Passion for Soccer and Internationals SC

Commitment and dedication are two words to describe the Garcia and Ritzman families and their relationship with Internationals SC.  Three members of each family play for ISC, which is a truly special thing.    

Abby (U11), Mary (U15), and Gabby (U15) proudly represent the Garcia family, while Kendall (U13), Kayla (U15), and Keira (U16) are standouts from the Ritzman family.

“We chose Internationals as our soccer club because of its rich history and undeniable reputation as being a top club in Ohio,” Lou Garcia said. “When we realized our girls were ready to compete at the next level, there was only once choice.”

“We first heard of ISC from friends who were involved with the club,” Stacy Ritzman said. “We were searching for a competitive environment in which high expectations were set for our daughters.”

The experience at Internationals SC has proven to be very beneficial.

“ISC has provided our daughters with phenomenal instruction, encouragement to develop not only as soccer players, but as well-rounded young women, and instilled a drive to work hard to achieve their goals as they compete in the ECNL, which is the highest level of competition for women’s club soccer,” Jen Garcia said.

“We've seen growth and development of our daughters, both athletically and emotionally,” Todd Ritzman said. “They have learned what it means to work hard and persevere through challenges and disappointments.  We've also had many opportunities to connect with wonderful families throughout the years.  This has been so helpful to have a support system as we've relied on help with rides to games and tournaments with juggling three schedules.”

It’s certainly exciting to see families that are so passionate and devoted to the beautiful game. 

“As a soccer player myself, I passed down my love of the game to my daughters - encouraging them at the young age of three,” Lou Garcia said. “Starting in rec soccer, they grew not only in skill, but in love with the game.  There isn’t a day when the three of them aren’t dribbling, passing, or working with each other on foot skills.  It is such a pleasure to be able to share this sport with them.”

“As parents, we chose soccer as a sport to become involved in, and with time, our daughters developed an internal passion and love for the game,” Stacy Ritzman said. “Being a part of ISC greatly contributed to this.”

As you can imagine, having three daughters at the same club is quite the commitment.  It also provides some significant benefits.    

“I have to run a tight ship when it comes to managing the various schedules, but the club is well worth the 50-minute drive,” Jen Garcia said. “The comradery that they feel being part of the same club brings them such joy.  They are proud to wear the ISC name on their shirts and be a part of the ISC family.”

“It's definitely more convenient to work within one club and train at the same location,” Todd Ritzman said. “Another benefit is being familiar with one club's philosophy and training approach.  We've learned to trust the process and believe that the system will lead to growth in both competitiveness and character.”

Both families have been impressed with the work and influence of the ISC coaches.

“What we were most impressed with when researching soccer clubs, was the depth of coaching that ISC provides the girls,” Lou and Jen Garcia said. “Coach Mike (Stoerkel) has brought an unmeasurable amount of knowledge to his instruction.  Our younger daughter, Abby, respects him and strives to do better, because of him.  Our U15 daughters, Mary and Gabrielle, appreciate the guidance that Coach Keri (Sarver) and Coach Jitka (Klimková) have provided, and the passion they have for the game.  This high-level instruction comes from the intimate experience that these coaches have had with the game of soccer. To be able to be mentored by the likes of Zdravko Popovic and April Heinrichs is icing on the cake.   We have seen over the years, at each age and turn, their mentors have always had their best interest and personal development at heart.”

“Mike Stoerkel was our first exposure to coaching within the club,” Stacy Ritzman said. “He had a tremendous impact on Keira's development during her earlier years.  Jared (Rose) has been influential in that he sets the bar high and motivates all the girls to do their best.  Jitka (Klimková) has also been very intentional with coaching and investing in the girls.”

The Garcia and Ritzman families are hoping to accomplish a great deal as members of the club.

“I can’t wait to watch them continue to grow in their passion and love of the game,” Jen Garcia said. “To see them build relationships with other ‘sisters’ that they will carry with them throughout their life is something one can only gain by being part of a club like Internationals.  The girls have big dreams of playing college and professional soccer and I hope one day I will be able to see their dreams come true.”

“We hope they apply the skills and life lessons learned at ISC in all aspects of their lives,” Todd Ritzman said.

Internationals SC is known as one big family and the Garcias and Ritzmans are a huge part of that.  It’s inspiring to hear of each family’s dedication and commitment as well as the bright futures of these young women.    

“The commitment from families like the Garcias and Ritzmans is what makes us who we are,” Club and ECNL Director Keri Sarver said. “We could not be successful without the dedication and loyalty of our members.  I am in awe of how these two families can seemingly 'do it all' with so many schedules to manage and needs to meet.  All six of these players have made a positive impact on the field for their respective teams and on the club as a whole.  Even more important, they are all such great kids – mature, respectful and coachable – just a joy to work with.  In addition, their accomplishments in the classroom are extraordinary.  We feel blessed to have the Ritzman and Garcia sisters representing club as they are amazing examples of what it takes to pursuing excellence and a living model of our 'all for one and one for all' motto."

Photos Courtesy of the Garcia and Ritzman Families

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