Bringing Home the Gold - GU14 Eagles become youngest team in club history to secure the coveted Premier League State Championship
On a recent November afternoon, the girls of the Eagles U14 Premier team loaded into their cars for the long drive up to Sacramento to compete for the Premier League State Championship. To pass the time, some of the players slept, some studied and some listened to their iTunes, but once assembled at the team hotel they were all focused on bringing home the hardware. The format of the tournament pitted the first and second place Premier teams from the north against the top two teams from the south on Saturday, with the two teams with the best records playing for the championship on Sunday.
The team didn’t have to wait long for the opening whistle, it was at 8am Saturday and the 42 degree temperature was more than enough to wake them. The first game was against Elk Grove who had the advantage of playing on their home field; nonetheless, the girls started off with a solid 2-0 win. The second game pitted the girls against the feisty Northern California State Champs and ECNL powerhouse, MVLA. While it was not the prettiest game the girls have put together, they did muster a 3-1 win which secured them a spot in the championship game Sunday morning. To prepare, the squad gathered for a team dinner and then finished the night off with a bonding activity (to call it a dance would not do it justice).
Later in the evening, the team was rewarded with a Jennifer Lopez concert. J Lo had performed at the World Cup opening ceremonies the previous night and was in concert tonight. The game was televised live nationally by the two biggest TV networks in Mexico (Televisa and TV Azteca) and it was streamed live by ESPN 3 in the USA. Games and replays of all games will be shown on ESPN 3. Their next game will be played Wednesday at 5:00 am vs. Brazil.
Championship Sunday came early enough as it was still dark when some of the girls awoke. With another 8am game it was off to the fields which greeted the team with a frosty 37 degree welcome! The team was up against Premier League rival Tustin United who also won both of their games on Saturday. The much improved Tustin squad was ready to take on an Eagles team that has yet to lose a league match during the past two seasons. In the most exciting contest of the weekend, the girls prevailed with a 2-1 victory to bring the coveted trophy back home. While some of the northern California parents referred to our girls as the Eagles, and some called them “one of the Southern California teams,” the Event Director put it best when presenting the trophy - he called them “CHAMPIONS!”
With the soccer business taken care of, the girls got back into their cars for the long ride home. Some of the players slept, some studied and some listened to their iTunes…