A Word with a Few National Champions
08/01/19 - Sandy, UT
If you're part of the soccer community in Utah and haven't heard already, Utah Celtic Premier FC 00, 19U Girls are National Champions!
After their exciting win, a few of the women had a chance to put together their thoughts on their new National Championship Title.
Here They Are:
On Finding Goals Against a Team You Previously Went Scoreless Against: Going into the championship game against the team we were unable to score against in pool play our coach just kept saying we needed to just keep the ball and break them down. Our third game of pool play we were scoreless at half and finished five goals in the second half so we went in to the championship with that mentality that we could out possess them and we would break them down and eventually get behind their defense going to goal.
On Leading the Team in Goals: Being the leading goal scorer in the national tournament was a huge accomplishment for me. It was a testament to all the work I’ve put in after all these years of playing soccer. I owe it all to my teammates who played me perfect passes and set me up to score all my goals. Megan Astle assisted two of my goals in the championship with some perfect passes and I’m grateful for her and my other teammates who set me up to score my goals.
On Being One of the Youngest on the Team: Because I have another year of high school and am not yet moving on to college, I will be joining the Celtic 01 team this next year! I am excited to join another team that has a tight bond and plays as a family. The one thing I will hopefully bring to the team is just the constant fight and effort in practices and games leading up to all the bigger tournaments. Every second counts, and every second has to be a grind to be the best of the best. I'm excited to learn from the girls on the team and see what we will have in store for this upcoming year.
On the Success of the Team: We play as a unit and we communicate well. It all starts with communication and if our communication is lacking, our composure and positivity begin to lack as well. We play for each other, and that's what makes us so successful no matter what position!
On the Gravity of the Final Match: The biggest thing for me was to be confident. It could’ve been really easy to get sucked in to the pressure of the tournament and to forget how to play the way that myself and the team know how to play. I just told myself that I knew what I was doing and that this was like every other time I’ve played soccer. It means a lot to me to know that my team trusted me in nationals. I have trust in every single one of my teammates and Steve (coach) that we are going to go out there and give it all. The trust we have on the field for each other is something I’ve never felt with any other team.
On the Nerves of a Big Tournament: I wasn’t worried for the final game. We just had to come out and play the game like we do every day. Play together and leave it all out on the field and we would be successful. There was no room for fear, only confidence in our abilities as a team. Once we got in the game and we found our tempo it was lights out.
On Receiving the Golden Ball Honor: It really means a lot. But as you know soccer is a team sport and is not all about one player. I've been blessed to not only have great coaches but to also play with such amazing, talented teammates. This award is not possible without them.
On National Championships Experience Helping with College Preparation: Playing against some of the top players in the country will definitely help the transition as a head into college. In addition, the lessons I've learned to never give up and to always give my best effort will help me with future leadership opportunities.
On Getting an Early Goal: It was super exciting to score that goal and help us get the lead early in the game. Our main goal wasn't to score early, we just wanted to possess and take every possibility in the attack, but getting the lead early definitely was a plus.
On the Nerves of a Big Tournament: We all knew that in order to win this game we all had to step up and perform at our best and together as a team. I think we all trusted each other which helped us stay relaxed and calm throughout the whole game.
On Being Named to Best XI: The award to me is super cool and just goes to show that working hard is very rewarding in the end. I'm so grateful for amazing teammates and coaches that help push me to play my best.
On Pressing Opponents in Their Defensive Third: We've never been a team that just sits back, but we're not always pressing super high the whole time either. We choose our moments to step up and contain them and then eventually win the ball back and put on the pressure.
On Advice to Younger Teams: I would tell the younger teams to first off make sure they are all playing soccer because they have a love for the game. Second, I would say make sure every person on the team knows what the whole team is trying to achieve. Third, each person is responsible for their own performance and how prepared they are. Each person come prepared and be willing to sacrifice for the team. There is a phrase that I have learned from being on the RSL Women’s team and that is “Dedication to Each Other”. This to me means that you show up ready to play to the best of your ability. You do the work off the field for your team. Help one another on and off the field with everything. If all the pieces come together something amazing will be achieved.
On the Road to National Championships: It took a lot for us as a team to get there, each one of us had to be dialed in making sure each of us wanted it just as bad as the other. It takes a year to get back to where you want to be. We lost last year in semis in regionals, it was devastating but we had a motto that we wore on our backs “Revenge SZN” this reminded us of what was taken from us, so when we would go to training we would go harder. Each game and tournament counted.
On the Feeling that this Team was Destined to Win: I’m not going to lie, when I flew in from LA to Kansas, I just had a feeling. this feeling wasn’t an arrogant feeling, it was a quiet confident feeling that really stayed in my heart. I wasn’t scared when we went to PK’s and I wasn’t scared before finals. I knew that this team was different this year. Each one of us wanted it. We knew what was on the line and we were gonna do whatever it took to get it. I not only had confidence in my preparation but I had confidence in my teammates and their preparation. This team is not like other teams in a lot of ways. I love this family!
On What it Feels Like to Be A National Champion: I have been to nationals a combined total of four times. I have lost in the finals before and also lost in semis. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal to truly be a National Champion. I thought this experience would be very similar to those past times. But finally reaching the end with my team and being able to say we are national champions is the best feeling in the world. I was able to play with my best friends until the absolute very end. This experience was so different than the last three times. My team set a goal to be the best and we worked our butts off to prove it. It’s a perfect way to finish our careers with UYSA before we move onto the next level.
Utah Celtic FC Roster:
#7 Tara Warner - 2020 graduate - committed to BYU
#20 Jordan Crockett - 2020 graduate - committed to Denver - Utah ODP team, Region IV ODP team
#18 Katie Haskins - 2018 graduate - attending Utah Valley University- Utah ODP team - Region IV ODP team
#4 Kathryn Wynn - 2019 graduate - committed to Utah State University- Utah ODP team
#23 Sydney Bushman - 2019 graduate - committed to Snow College
#12 Kennedy Jex - 2018 graduate - attending Southern Utah University
#5 Megan Unbedacht- 2019 graduate - committed to Utah State University
#19 Hailee Atwater - 2018 graduate - attending Utah Valley University - Utah ODP Team
#22 Jamie Shepherd - 2019 graduate - committed to BYU - Utah ODP team - Region IV ODP Team
#3 Megan Astle - 2019 graduate - committed to Utah State University
#9 Samantha Brady - 2019 graduate - committed to University of Minnesota
#10 Rebecca Olsen - 2019 graduate - committed to Salt Lake Community College
#8 Gabriella Jensen - 2019 graduate - committed to Dixie State University
#11 Abbigail Graham - 2019 graduate - committed to Utah Valley University
#33 Kate Schirmer - 2019 graduate - committed to Snow College
#2 Anna Pickering - 2019 graduate - committed to University of Utah - Utah ODP Team
#26 Alaina Pestana - 2019 graduate - committed to Snow College
#13 Brecken Mozingo - 2019 graduate - committed to UCLA - Utah ODP Team - Region IV ODP Team - U17 National Team
#0 Chelsea Peterson - 2019 graduate - committed to University of Utah - Utah ODP Team - Region IV ODP Team
Utah Celtic Premier FC 00 vs. Competition During National Championship Series:
from Utah State Cup to Far West Regional Championships, through National Championships:
Utah State Cup
Game 1: W (5-0) vs. Utah Celtic East DD
Game 2: W (4-1) vs. Blue Knights 00 Premier
Semifinal: W (4-1) vs. Wasatch SC 00/01
Final: W (6-0) vs. Blue Knights
Far West Regional Championship
Game 1: W (8-0) vs. Players Elite (NV)
Game 2: W (2-0) vs. Rio Rapids 00 Girls (NM)
Game 3: W (4-0) vs. CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite (CA-S)
Quarterfinal: W (3-0) vs. FC Boulder 00 Girls Elite (CO)
Semifinal: W (1-0) vs. 00 Boise Thorns Elite, 2-0-1, (ID)
Final: W (4-0) vs. CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite (CA-S)
Game 1: W (3-2) vs. Sunrise Sting 2000 (FL)
Game 2: T (0-0) vs. Lou Fusz Elam (MO)
Game 3: W (5-0) vs. Legends FC South (CA-S)
Semifinal: W (4-3 PK) (3-3) vs. MapleBrook Fury (MN)
Final: W (9-1) vs. Lou Fusz Elam (MO)