December 21 , 2000 - A Cousin for Christmas

A special Christmas package was delivered to Maureen (Hughes) and Jim McAloon who will be known as Colleen Hughes McAloon. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 13 ozs. on Thursday December 21, 2000. Last heard Mom and Dad are doing fine. Grandma Eileen and Grandpa Tom are also doing well.

November 6, 2000 - We Have a New Cousin

Rosemarie (Hughes) and Mitch Franzblau became delighted parents of Kelly Rose Franzblau on Thursday November 2 at 11:15 AM. Kelly arrived weighing in at 7 lbs., 3 oz. and measuring 19 inches. All are well - even Grandma Rose!

August 29, 2000 - Danielle Dion News

Cobras dash Wings' dreams of three-peat
By A.J. CARR August 14, 2000 The Raleigh News & Observer

RALEIGH -- This wasn't the storybook ending the Raleigh Wings had dreamed about. They were going for an unprecedented third straight W-League championship, building a mini soccer dynasty. But on Sunday, Danielle Dion, Becky Myers, MVP Ann Cook and the rest of the Chicago Cobras altered an old script from last year's final and won the title.

After playing to a 1-1 tie in 123 minutes at the WRAL Soccer Center, the Cobras clinched it 4-2 on penalty kicks as Myers booted in the decisive shot and Dion, a graduate assistant coach at N.C. State, made two sterling saves.

"This is an unbelievable feeling," said Dion, the W-League GoalKeeper of the Year. "This was our goal since we walked off this field last year after losing by one shot on a penalty kick."

Raleigh won in 1999, rallying from a 2-0 deficit, then claiming the crown 3-2 on PKs. The Wings thought they could do it again - through 93 minutes of regulation, through 30 more gut-wrenching minutes of sudden-death overtime and into the shootout, they were determined to three-peat.

The Wings simply didn't lose - at least not over a 25-game unbeaten streak they had carried into this final.But after the two teams each scored on their first two penalty shots, Dion made a diving grab to her left on Kim Yankowski's shot and a lunging stop to her right on Kelly Cagle's attempt. "I felt relaxed," Dion said. "And I went with my gut feelings."

Meanwhile, Chicago hit its first four attempts against Wings goalie Kathryn Clewley - who spelled starter Kristen Samuhel in the second half. When Myers converted for the clinching 4-2 lead, the Cobras celebrated and a partisan crowd of 1,528 stood in stunned silence. "I don't feel good, especially to lose this way," lamented defender Thori Bryan, one of several third-year Wings. We played hard. I'm not disappointed in the way we played."

With the new professional Women's United Soccer Association starting next season, Raleigh and Chicago will have many roster changes and new looks in 2001. That's another reason the Wings wanted this one so badly.

"It's the end of a wonderful time, the end of a chapter," said Yankowski, who gave the Wings an early 1-0 lead with a high 35-yard blast over Dion. "I think I'm more sad today because it's over. A lot of us will be going on different paths."

The undefeated, top-seeded Cobras (16-0-1) came in as the No. 1 ranked offensive team and Raleigh (12-1-1) as the leading defensive unit. But the Cobras finally broke through in the 53rd minute when Clewley advanced to stop the play and Myers, with an assist from former N.C. State player Charmaine Hooper, spotted an opening in the right corner and left-footed into the net.

It was 1-1, a new ball game, and one that had championship tension and talent. The Wings outshot Chicago 10-4 and held a 14-2 lead in corner kicks. "We had opportunities, decent chances, but not layups," Wings coach Bill Palladino said. "Chicago is so strong, big. " ... They did a tremendous job of packing back in and not allowing us easy chances to score."

Yankowski took it to the Cobras early, however, scoring in the eighth minute by sending a rifle shot over the leaping Dion. The Wings ended a three-year run that included three division titles and two league crowns. "I'm extremely proud of this team," said Palladino, who couldn't have asked for more effort. "We played about as well as possible."

The Wings were good, almost championship good again. But in the end, the Cobras were deadly.

July 5 , 2000 - Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Aunt Dorothy Gallagher who turned 83 years old on July 2nd!
She is living in Florida and we all miss her very much!

June 20, 2000 - Another Great Picnic

Well the 24th Annual Cousins Picnic is now in the books. Thank you to everyone who attended (Cousins and Friends)! For those who don't know, we luckily received near perfect weather all day except for that 15-minute sunshower (which was actually quite refreshing after playing a game of softball). Tipper came through with another great gift - very useful commuter cups emblazened with the words "2000 Cousins Picnic" w/ the URL www.cousinspicnic.com underneath. Thanks Tip!

It was so great to see everyone, I would like to invite you all to send me your favorite moments from this year's picnic. I will then post your responses here for all to see so we can show the Cousins who were unable to attend, how much fun we all had this year!

May 6, 2000 - Yours Truly ( Bill Heyer ) Gets Engaged

I am happy to announce that I am now engaged! Kristen and I are planning a summer of 2001 wedding and are very excited...

March, 2000 - Patrick Kennedy son of Monica & Patty Kennedy Gets Engaged

Patrick and Kristina are thinking of a Fall 2001 or Spring 2002 wedding, and look forward to seeing everyone at the picnic in June!

-- News from New Hampshire:
Bridget Hughes turned 11 years old on March 22nd - Congratulations!

-- St. Patrick's Day 2000:
CousinsPicnic.com is launched!

November, 1999
Danielle Dion Invited to National Team Camp

   -- From tophatsoccer.com

ATLANTA -- November 26, 1999 (Friday) - Tophatter (and "Fellow Cousin") Danielle Dion has been invited to attend a national team training camp 29 November to 4 December at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.  A press release from US Soccer press release lists 26 invitees who will attend the training camp with hopes of gaining a place in the national side that will play for an Olympic gold medal in Sydney, Australia, next summer.  Outgoing national team coach Tony DiCicco and assistants Lauren Gregg and Jay Hoffman have invited a mix of veterans and young stars to start the selection process for the Olympic team.

Danielle Dion was a four year stand out at University of Massachusetts and this year gained dual honors in the W-1 women's professional soccer league, gaining both W-League Most Valuable Player and Goalkeeper of the Year awards while playing for the Chicago Cobras.  See W-League web site.  Danielle, along with Betsy Anderson, is one of two assistant coaches working for coach Laura Kerrigan at NC State

Earlier this year, Danielle was selected as all W-League first team and, on 29 August, played 70 minutes for the W-League all star game against Connecticut at Joe Morrone stadium, made 3 tremendous saves, and led the way for a 2-1 win for the all stars.  See all star game report.

During her career at University of Massachusetts, Danielle gained all-league status in the Atlantic 10 conference each year, beginning with her freshman year.  Statistics for her first three years (see senior year write-up) show a combined 0.76 goals against average.  Danielle's senior playing year concluded in the 1997, with graduation in 1998.  See story.

Danielle is the daughter of Edward and Lois Dion of Atlanta.  She started her career at about age 10 at Tophat Soccer Club, where she played on teams managed by Frank Riggs, trained with goalkeeper coach Lawrence Fine (see FineSoccer), and graduated with Tophat 76 (which would today be named Tophat 94 Gold).