It is with great sadness that we pass along the news that Jeni Plender, a member of our 2003 Girls Elite Navy squad passed away this past Saturday, October 15th after a courageous battle with cancer. Jeni fought this disease fearlessly and showed us her true strength and character by battling every day with a smile on her face and showed a resiliency like nothing we have ever seen. As her daily battles became more difficult, she fought harder with her main goal of returning home to be with her family and her desire to get back to school and on the soccer field with her friends and teammates
Jeni’s passing leaves us devastated but there is so much to remember that this young lady has taught us. Attitude, determination, desire and commitment are all words to describe her but most of all her contagious and beautiful smile and that sweet left foot.
Jeni joined GPS NH in the summer of 2015 and in a very short time became an integral part of the top ranked team in NH in her age group. She did so by seamlessly fitting into a very talented team and instantly becoming a valuable starter in the squad. Her continued development as a player landed her on the GPS NH/Maine Regional team where she scored two magnificent goals to help lead the team to a championship in Florida this past January. Her play continued to get her noticed as she was selected along with 4 of her teammates to the GPS National North team. The accolades didn’t stop there as she was chosen as one of 18 girls from within all of the GPS franchises in the US to represent the GPS National Team in the Gothia Cup in Sweden this past summer, unfortunately her illness did not allow her to attend.
Jeni’s contributions to her GPS NH 2003 Elite Navy team were immeasurable both on and off of the field. Her quiet, unassuming demeanor, and always smiling face made her friends fast with all of her teammates who miss her beyond words can describe. Behind that smile, was a fierce competitor who battled relentlessly for every loose ball, had incredible vision on the field and an amazing feel for the game of soccer. She was equally dangerous whether laying off a beautiful assist or curling her patented left footed shot into the top corner. She was an integral part of last year’s GPS NH U13 Elite Girls squad that won the New Hampshire State Cup Championship and finished as National Runners-Up at The National Cup in Aurora, Colorado this past summer. On and off the field she was a pleasure to be around, we will miss her every day.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Plender family, and Jeni will forever be in our hearts. As a club and as a team, we will do our best to honor this amazing young lady every day.
GPS will be hosting multiple events over the coming months to pay our respects to our JP.
The family are asking In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Boston Children's Hospital Trust, 401 Park Dr., Suite 602, Boston, MA, 02215, in honor of our sweet Jeni.