The Three Rivers 98 Black girls soccer team took its ultimate dream another step forward Friday at the National Cup XII in Aurora, Colo.
Three Rivers, consisting of all incoming freshman to Mid-Columbia high schools, battled to a 1-1 draw against FC Pride Elite Red, the state champion from Indiana, putting the team in a position to compete for the U-14 Girls Super Group tournament championship Sunday.
Haley Thomas, who will attend Southridge High School in the fall, scored the game-tying goal in the final 20 minutes after her team trailed for most of the match. Thomas lined up for a free kick from 25 yards and booted it past the FC Pride goalkeeper for the equalizer.
We dont know much about these teams, but they had a kid up top who was super fast. She just ran by everybody and scored in the first five minutes, said 98 Black coach Chad Bodnar, who credited Thomas for shutting down the speedy forward for the duration of the game. Haley had a fantastic game. We had to come back again after halftime, and I thought we had the better of them in the second half.
With a win today against Sockers FC ECNL out of Palatine, Ill., 98 Black will be 2-0-1 in pool play and earn a spot in Sundays final. That wont be easy, however, against a team that has outscored opponents 11-2 in two games.
Theyre one of the top 15 teams in the country. Theyve got three kids up top who are Division I athletes. Theyre going to be a handful for us, said Bodnar, who has already led his team to state and regional championships. But I told the kids we get to play Saturday in a game that means something. Were excited about that.
Bodnar added that he and his coaching staff had a chance to scout Sockers FC for a few minutes Friday before the Three Rivers game began. If nothing else, Bodnar said, it gives 98 Black a chance to prepare for whats coming.
It put us in a spot to have to figure out a way to stop them, Bodnar said. Were going to try to change things in terms of our shape. Well give it our best.