EAGLES SC WOMEN'S U23 TEAM CAPTURES RECORD 4TH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
July 18, 2011
July 18, 2011 (Bowling Green, Kentucky) - The Eagles Soccer Club Women's Under-23 team of Camarillo, California, defeated the Kansas City Dynamos, 2-2 (4-2 PKs) on Sunday, July 17, to win their second straight United States Adult Soccer Association National Cup title and become the ﬁrst team ever to win four United States national championship titles.
"Kansas City is an incredibly talented team. Libby Jandl of Duke and Molly Campbell from Notre Dame are two of the best in the country, and from the start it was a heck of a battle," explained Eagles head coach Vince Thomas. "I started my Big 12 forwards and it paid off as Emily [Cressy] found Amanda [Lisberger] cutting hard to goal. Then Amanda ﬂicked the ball to Kelsey [Kraft] who ﬁnished strong."
With the score tied 1-1 late in regulation, both teams came within an inch of winning. Molly Campbell one-touched a serve that bounced off the post, and moments later Lisberger found a seam through two defenders and hit the left post. With 30 seconds remaining in double overtime and Kansas City ahead 2-1, Lauren Jackson found Haley Boysen on the wing. The USC sophomore blasted a shot from 25 yards away that hit the far post and bounced at a 45-degree angle into the net, sending the game to penalty kicks.
The Eagles' Kraft, Lindsay Bullock, and Coco Goodson all converted with low, hard line drives, and when Eagles keeper Chante' Sandiford made her third diving stop, her team thought they had won their fourth national title. The referee, however, ruled that Sandiford had come off her line early and gave the Dynamos another opportunity. When the do-over failed to ﬁnd the back of the net, the Eagles celebration began.
"I feel so comfortable, absolutely at home in the goal, and I love the challenge of keeping the ball out of the net," said Sandiford, a rising senior goalkeeper at UCLA who will start her third season for the Bruins this fall. When some of her UCLA teammates approached her to play club ball one last time this summer for the Eagles, Sandiford couldn't pass up the opportunity. "Their track record is unreal, and all the girls on the team are just incredible soccer players," remarked Sandiford. "Everything is like clockwork with them, so it's really easy for me to come in and be a part of something that's already so well run. I just have to do my part - keep the ball out of the net - and they'll take care of the rest."
Under head coach Thomas, the Eagles previously won two US Youth Soccer National Championship titles - the Under-14 crown in 2004 and the Under-17 Championship in 2007. They are six-time Cal South National Cup (state) champions (2004, 2007-2011) and two-time National Cup (state) finalists (2005 and 2006). A year ago, they defeated Arizona Rush Nike in the U23 USASA ﬁnal to become only the second side in the 32-year history of women's championships ever to win three US National titles. Colorado Rush (Littleton, CO) won the U17, U18, and U19 championships from 1999-2001.
"It is amazing what this team has accomplished, starting when they were just thirteen," noted Thomas, "and now - eight years later - they have won more national titles than any other club soccer team in history. From the outset, this group relished competing against the best players in the country - and in time came to appreciate that to win at the highest level you must be very good individually…and even better as a team. Four national titles and six state crowns in eight years is their legacy, but it is their incredible commitment to win that was the difference today, and what makes them true champions on and off the ﬁeld."
For more about the United States Adult Soccer Association National Cups Finals competition, please click here.