Corbin girl competes in Italy soccer tournament

Clara Finneseth (top left) in San Marino playing soccer. | Photo Contributed

CORBIN — First Germany, now Italy.

Thanks to her soccer skills, Clara Finneseth spent one week in March playing soccer in Germany and it was thanks to those same soccer skills that she recently had the opportunity to travel again.

Finneseth returned to Corbin from a two-week stay in Italy and San Marino where she played in the International San Marino Cup. Finnesth, along with a select group of girls from central Kentucky, including two from the Richmond area, made the trip.

Finneseth, who will be a junior at Corbin High School, started out playing club soccer for Lexington Youth Soccer League and then she started playing competitively for Commonwealth Soccer Club.

The event is the largest Italian youth soccer tournament for boys and girls, hosting 100 teams, from 18 countries, four continents with more than 3,000 participants.

The tournament was open to soccer clubs, schools and academy teams to boys aged 12 to 19 (teams organized in five categories) and girls from 13 and older (three categories.)

Finneseth’s women’s team from Kentucky won the U19 Division and took third place overall. There were 16 students from across central Kentucky, and 16 boys who traveled for the event.

The tournament had an opening ceremony similar to the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Cindy Finneseth, Clara’s mom, said it’s been fun to watch her daughter develop with the other high level athletes during these sort of experiences.

“These trips have really built her confidence and her maturity,” said Cindy Finneseth. “She’s had to navigate situations that she wouldn’t otherwise have to.”

Finneseth has been playing soccer for nearly her entire life. She started playing competitively around age 8, and continues to play around the clock. Finneseth said she doesn’t have future plans beyond playing in college but her mom, laughed and said, “who knows.”

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