Indisputably, undeniably no. 1: Eastside FC's G98 Red girls are nat'l champs

  - Courtesy photo
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Not since 1996 has a girls’ soccer team from Washington taken the United States Youth Soccer National Championship title, but on July 30, 15 girls from the area did just that. They earned the right to claim the number one spot in U.S. U14 girls’ soccer.

Eastside FC’s G98 Red team won the national championship in Kansas. Natalie Weidenbach, an incoming freshman at Mount Si, is a member of the team. These girls were the only Washington team at any age this year to have a shot at the US Youth Soccer national championships.

In the championship match, Red faced a team they’d defeated in the earlier round robin, YMS Xplosion from Pennsylvania. Under pressure, a YMS Xplosion defender passed back to the keeper, who bobbled the ball, giving EFC’s Jojo Harber an opportunity she couldn’t resist – or miss.  Stealing the ball, she sent it goalward, making it 1-0, which stayed on the scoreboard for the rest of the half, even though both sides continued to create opportunities. Almost five minutes into the second half, Ellie Bryant earned a corner for EFC Red, then found a spot at the top of the box, received great service from Catie Buck, then proceeded to head in a second goal. Eastside FC fans paced or sat on the edge of their seats when Xplosion sneaked a goal past the defense at the 60th minute.

Along with the title, the Eastside FC team brought home the U.S. Youth Soccer Fair Play Award for sportsmanship.

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