BRYC 95 Elite (VA) 2-0 MVLA Lightning (CA-N)
MVLA Lightning (CA-N) came into today’s game looking to win their second championship title in three years. Lightning finished group stage with a 3-0 record looking to carry that momentum into the final while scoring 10 goals and allowed none.
BRYC 95 Elite (VA) was here at the US Youth Soccer National Championships for the first time. They advanced from group stage with a record of 2-1; the only loss coming at the hands of MVLA on the last day of group play after both teams had already clinched a spot in the final.
"We played [Lightning] on Friday and they beat us 4-0," said BRYC head coach Larry Best. "We felt we were ok with that because it was a meaningless game. We told ourselves after that we’d be ready for Sunday."
Many people were skeptical of BRYC’s ability to play on grass and to win a US Youth Soccer National Championship.
"Everybody says this team can only play indoor," Best continued. "They say they’re only good in quick spaces and that they’re not strong enough or big enough—but we are. We’re a better team than people think."
MVLA was determined to set the pace of its games throughout the tournament and looked to do the same in the final, but BRYC did a great job of keeping it a two-team game.
After a lackluster start to the first half, a free kick by Lightning’s Jaye Boissiere in the 21st minute found its way through the hands of BRYC’s keeper, but slipped wide of goal.
Keeper Jacquelyn Caginia came up big for Lightning, as she made two huge saves in the 23rd and 27th minutes to keep the teams level at 0-0.
It would be more of the same in the second half as the teams would trade possession throughout the half searching for a game winner.
In the 71st minute, BRYC’s Kahla Seymour dribbled the ball quickly down the right side of the field and then cut hard toward the net. Seymour sent a searching ball into the middle of the box that was met by teammate Adrienne Maday who slotted a shot past Caginia for a 1-0 lead.
MVLA searched for an equalizer in the waning minutes, but were unable to level the score.
After the game, Best shared his thoughts on Lightning.
"Let me tell you that I think that MVLA is the best team in the country," said Best. "If we played them 10 times they’d probably beat us in nine, but we said not today. Today would be our day and the soccer gods were with us."
BRYC players rushed the field in jubilation at the final whistle to embrace their teammates and celebrate their victory.
"Oh my God, I can’t believe it," Maday said. "No one believed we should be here and they said State Cup was a fluke. But we proved them wrong. We finally got the real (championship)."
How is the game winning scorer going to celebrate her first National Championship?
"I’m going to eat."