2015 US Youth Soccer U18 Girls National Champions
The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. Every year approximately 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams from all over the nation compete to become the US Youth Soccer National Champions.
“For our U18 girls to take home the trophy was a massive achievement,” said Michael Duggan, Carlsbad United Director of Operations. All around, it is a fantastic achievement for our club, our girls program, and we are setting the standard for our future teams.”
Check out the highlights of coach Adam Skumawitz‘s Carlsbad United FC Elite U18 Girls road to victory.
In the US Youth Soccer National League Red Division, Cal South member, Carlsbad Elite went undefeated with four wins and three ties which was enough to finish ahead and became the first team to win three National League division titles.
Carlsbad United’s two National League titles (U17 Carlsbad Elite 97/98) this season gave the club six division titles, placing them in a tie with Legends FC (CA-S) for the most division wins by any one club.
Their Nation League title sent them straight to the National Championships. They started off the tournament with a 1-0 win against 97 Louisiana Fire Navy (LA), followed by a 2-4 win against Beadling Gunners (PA-W) and then finished off preliminary’s with a 1-0 loss against in-state rival and defending champs DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S).
Carlsbad Elite made the semi- final look easy with a 0-6 win against La Roca PO (UT). Their one-sided result began with two goals within the first ten minutes of play by Sydney Yates and Haley Walker Robinson. Carlsbad Elite’s dominance continued in the second half with a pair of goals by Bridget Daley in the 50th and 55th minutes, a goal by Nola Prickett in the 58th minute off a corner kick play, and in the 65th minute Yates found her second goal of the match.
The semi-final blowout sent Carlsbad Elite to the final match against DMCV. Carlsbad Elite would not only have to face their only loss of the tournament again, but this would also be a rematch of last year’s semi-final against DMCV (who won on a single overtime goal).
“The history between these two teams (Carlsbad Elite and Del Mar Carmel Valley) goes back over 10 years and there have been many encounters,” said Carl Higham, Carlsbad United Director of Girls. “Whenever we got to semi’s and finals in tournaments, it always seemed to be against each other, so to play the DMCV girls in our final game playing club soccer in a National Championship final was something really special.”
DMCV may have defeated Carlsbad Elite on the final day of preliminary’s, but Carlsbad claimed a 1-0 victory over the Sharks when it mattered the most as Yates scored the match’s only goal in the 52nd minute when she headed in a cross past 2013 National Championship Golden Glove winner Melissa Lowder. Carlsbad’s defense would hold strong to win the club’s first National Championship.
“Our girls all knew the significance of the game and were well aware they could make club history by winning our first ever National Championship,” said Higham. “For all involved, it will always be one of those life time achievements you will never forget. It has been an amazing season for the girls; finishing first in Coast, finishing first in the National League, winning National State Cup, and now this. To end over ten years playing together with a National Championship is the stuff dreams are made of. Well done girls! Now, on to the next chapter which is playing in college.”
Team Roster, College Status:
Bridget Daley, Committed to Humboldt
Chelsea Churchill, Committed to Brown University
Christina Nixon, Committed to Cal State Northridge
Colleen Grainger, Committed to UC Davis
Danika Steele, Committed to University of Hawaii at Hilo
Emily Cuthbert, Uncommitted (U16)
Genesis Lucero, Committed to Stanford
Haley Walker-Robinson, Committed to Ohio State
Hannah Miller, Committed to University of Nevada at Reno
Hannah Wyatt, Committed to UC Riverside
Kayleigh Fredricks, Committed to University of Idaho
Maddie Denbaugh, Committed to Point Loma
Megan Grant, Committed to Brown University
Miriam Bloom, Committed to Sonoma State
Nola Prickett, Committed to McNeese State
Paige Haley, Committed to Emmerson College
Renee Gonsalves, Committed to Westmont
Riley Marshall, Committed to UC Davis
Sydney Yates, Committed to Cal Poly Pomona
“This was a celebration of our seniors, our families, and our Southern California youth soccer club,” said Skumawitz. “I am forever grateful for the love and support of our parents and the commitment and heart of our players. This team fought through incredibly talented and tough competition all week. They never quit and found a way to win. Playing against Del Mar was a storybook ending for us as we have had years of great battles with them. It was so rewarding to have our girls execute the game plan and finish as National Champions. Our girls all head off to college in the next few weeks but the memory of winning the Carlsbad’s first ever, US Youth Soccer National Championship will stay with them forever. It was my privilege to coach this group the past three years and I believe they have firmly set a standard for all those who follow.”
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