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Eastside Football Club falls short in national title defense
Eastside Football Club
The Eastside Football Club G98 Red GU15 fell short in their national title defense at the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships this past week, ultimately taking third place in one of the premier youth soccer competitions in the country.
“I am very proud of the effort the girls put forth,” coach Tom Bialek said. “Every game was very demanding and required everything we had to give. We played our best game overall in the semifinals, and while we created many good chances and controlled play to a large degree, we never could break through with a goal, though we did hit the crossbar twice and the post once. Jacksonville is a very good team.”
In fact, the Eastside Football Club squad was three minutes away from going to a penalty kick shootout with the eventual champion Jacksonville team, when Jacksonville put home a diving header to give them the 1-0 win.
The loss in the semifinal marked a strong run of soccer for the girls. The team took first place in the “prestigious US Youth Soccer National League,” when the team traveled and competed in North Carolina and Las Vegas, Nevada. In that competition, the G98 Red girls dominated, tallying six wins, one loss, which put them easily ahead of the 15 other teams in their age group. That performance qualified them for the national championships.
The team also finished first in Division 1 of the Washington Youth Soccer Regional Club League, and notched a state title from their participation in that league. Up until the national tournament, the team played 37 matches, won 30, lost three and tied four. They recorded an astonishing 25 shutouts, with a breathtaking 92 goals for, compared to only 16 goals against.
Federal Way’s Mikaylie Moore, who attends Thomas Jefferson High School, played an important role in the run-up to the teams eventual semifinal loss. Moore netted the first goal in the team’s opening game against Alliance Academy 99 Black, a team from Michigan.
According to the team, in the 32nd minute, Moore “dribbled around the keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the net to get things started.” Alliance pulled one back four minutes later, leaving the teams tied at halftime, 1-1.
Moore scored the decisive goal in the 59th minute, “with an ESPN-highlight-reel-worthy diving header.”
In their second match, the Eastside girls faced off with their competition from last year’s national title game, the YMS Premiere Xplosion from Pennsylvania. Eastside opened up the scoring in the seventh minute, but the Xplosion responded with three goals of their own in the first half. The final line on the game was 3-1, but according to the team “created opportunities right up until the final whistle.”
Moore was again integral in the third game of the tournament, which was against Legends FC from California. Moore sent a pass into Legends’ goal, which deflected off their keeper and found Moore’s teammate, Jojo Harber, waiting to put the ball home. Legends equalized on a corner in the 60th minute, and Legends’ excellent goalkeeping kept Eastside from the win, when the goalie successfully saved a penalty kick in the 81st minute.
The G98 Red team has girls from Federal Way and elsewhere. To learn more, visit eastsidefc.org.