Under-13 Girls: Michigan Hawks 01 (MI) (RII-C) 0-1 (PKs) Surf Academy I (CA-S) (RIV-C)
Surf Academy I (CA-S) wins the second ever U-13 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championship after defeating Michigan Hawks 01 (MI) in a penalty kick shootout.
“It’s just an amazing accomplishment,” said Surf Academy Head Coach Seth Trembly. “They’ve worked so hard for a complete year and this is the culmination. Win or lose I’d be proud of them either way. They put up a heck of a fight, and it feels great to win.”
Heading into the match, the teams were pretty evenly matched up. Hawks had won all tournament matches at Region II Championships to qualify, and Surf Academy did the same at Region IV Championships. Both teams had unbeaten streaks after the second day of preliminary play at nationals, and neither had conceded any goals. Michigan Hawks got the edge when they competed against Surf Academy in the third round robin game winning 1-0 with a 37th minute goal by Lilian Lucas. This set up up a competitive rematch to see who would take it all in the final.
“The game was great; they’re a fantastic team,” said Trembly. “They have such strong players and it was a great battle. We stuck in there and couldn’t be prouder.”
The match went a full 90 minutes and after regulation time and two overtime periods the score was still set at 0-0. Michigan got the closest chance to take the lead from a set piece in the first half. Michigan’s forward went up to take the free kick 30 yards away from goal, and although it appeared to go in it was just inches off frame and grazed the top of the crossbar. By halftime both teams had gotten a couple of chances but neither could find the back of the net.
In the second half Amber McCorkle almost put Surf up after heading in a corner kick that went just a bit wide outside the far post. Surf dominated the majority of the second half, but as time ran out the scoreless match went into overtime. Michigan came in strong in overtime but Surf’s sturdy backline didn’t allow them to break through. The whistle blew and both teams had yet to get on the scoreboard so the match went to penalty kicks to determine a winner.
“I just told them to relax and enjoy the moment,” said Trembly. “Pick your spot and hit, that’s all you can do in PK’s. It’s preparation training, trying to put them in pressure situations, but you can’t replicate what was going on right there so at the end of the day it was all up to the girls.”
The pressure was at its highest and it was all up to the final kickers. In penalty kicks Surf Academy ultimately took the crown outscoring Michigan Hawks 4-2. The sidelines went wild and players, coaches, parents, friends, and family all rushed the field after the referee declared that Surf was the champion. Surf Academy goals were scored by Madison Mercado, Brooke Wilson, Jade Babcock-Chi and Logan Wells. Goalkeeper Mackenna Carmichael also made two great saves for Surf, to make Wells’ last shot the game winner.
Surf comes to the end of the road completing the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series with back-to-back State Championships, a Region IV Championship, and now an Under-13 Girls National Championship that they’ve earned by being the best.
“It’s a complete team from the first player to the last player,” said Trembly. “They love each other. They fight for each other. We have some fantastic players but the depth of our team is really what separates us from everybody else.”
For complete match statistics on the Under-13 Girls final, click here. For all updates of the 2014 National Championships visit http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2014-National-Championships/, and remember to share your moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.