A high-stakes group stage match between DMCV Sharks (CA-S) and Legends FC (CA-S)
at the US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard was only fitting considering the rivalry between the two teams.
The two teams have met plenty of other times, but no meeting had the importance of today’s match.
With both teams winning a game and tying another, the winner of this match would head to the finals of the Under-16 Girls group. If there was a tie, Legends would advance due to allowing fewer goals against.
A highly contested match ended with DMCV taking down the defending champs, 1-0.
"I truly believe these are two of the best teams in the country," DMCV coach Felicia Kappes said. "It’s always a great match, and we are glad to be advancing to the finals.
Things were deadlocked until the halfway through the second half when Sharks defender Hannah Keogh’s corner curled into the goal, going untouched until a defender cleared the ball after it ball past the goal line.
There was a moment of silence before the referee’s whistle blew signaling a goal.
This was quickly followed by the entire Sharks team screaming in excitement. After scoring off a corner in one of the more unconventional ways, DMCV held on to win the match. Similar screams could be heard as pandemonium ensued on the Sharks bench and the field after the final whistle blew.
"I just sent the corner in, and it crossed the line before she headed it out," Keogh said. "We play them a lot, and we won State, and they won the Region Championships. So we saw this as a tie breaker."
The DMCV defense did a solid job of defending as Legends put more and more pressure towards the end of the match. Despite having twelve shots, Legends managed only three on frame, which were handled by the DMCV keeper duo of Sydney Wootten in the first half, and Melissa Lowder in the second half.
"I think this proves we can play with anyone," Keogh said. "If we were able to win the National Championship, I can’t think of any words to describe it."
The Under-16 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championship final featuring DMCV and Kings Hammer will be contested on Sunday, July 28 at 8:00 am CT on field 1.