The Three Rivers girls 98 Black soccer team fell short in its bid for a U-14 national title at the National Cup XII, losing 6-3 to the Sockers FC ECNL in Aurora, Colo.
But Three Rivers coach Chad Bodnar said the team represented itself and the state of Washington with great pride and honor, compiling a 1-1-1 record against some of the top teams in the nation.
These kids saw another level of what the top teams in the country are. Thats something thats ging to push these kids further. They represented this state well and did themselves proud, 98 Black coach Chad Bodnar said.
Sockers FC, an elite club team out of Palatine, Ill., had outscored its first two opponents 11-1 and shot out to a 4-1 first half lead against Three Rivers.
Theyre just so good up front and fast. Thats got to be a top-three team in the country. I havent seen a youth team that good, Bodnar said.
But 98 Black, a team composed of freshmen-to-be, bounced back with two second goals to cut the lead to 4-3 and had a chance to tie the score on a breakaway but missed. Sockers FC then countered for a goal to make it 5-3.
We had them on the ropes for a while. I thought we could come back and get them, Bodnar said. There were good attacking players on both teams.
The loss, coupled with Libertyville (Ill.) FCs 2-0 win over Brandon FC Flames Blue 98/98, ended Three Rivers hopes of a shot at a national title. If Libertyville FC had lost, however, 98 Black would have played Sockers FC in todays U-14 girls Super Group championship.
Our team played well. To be honest, (Sockers FC) will be playing in the final against a team we beat, Bodnar said, reflecting on Thursdays 3-2 tournament-opening win against Libertyville FC.
Bodnar was pleased with his teams performance and thrilled with the big-game experience it built up.
We went down in all three games. Part of that is not having been here before. But once you get to this type of tournament, you get to where its not a big deal anymore., he said. I thought Haley Thomas was very good all weekend, and our goalkeeper, Kelsee Winston, really kept us in the first two games. McKaley Goffard is showing that shes one of the elite players in the nation.
Goffard, who will attend Southridge in the fall along with Thomas, had a goal and two assists in the opener against Libertyville. Winston will play for Chiawana.