Until last year, only one club team had won three national age-specific soccer championships. Now only Eagles Soccer Club, from Camarillo, has won four.
Eagles SC rallied to force penalty kicks, then prevailed from the spot against Kansas City (Kan.) Dynamo after a 2-2 tie Sunday, retaining their title in the Women's Under-23 Division at the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association championships in Bowling Green, Ky.
The Eagles, a virtual local college all-star team, were one of three L.A.-area clubs -- all of them Region IV champions -- to reach USASA title games.
Manhattan Beach's Doxa Italia lost on penalties following a 2-2 draw with national amateur powerhouse NY Pancyprian Freedom in the USASA Men's Open Cup, the three-day event's premier competition. Irvine's PSA Elite fell, 3-2, in overtime to RWB Adria, a Croatian club from Chicago, in the Men's Amateur Cup.
San Diego Surf won the Men's Over-30 championship.
USC's Haley Boysen (Moorpark/Harvard-Westlake School) was the hero for Eagles SC, scoring in the final 30 seconds of overtime with a 25-yard shot off the far post. Kelsey Kraft (Rancho Santa Margarita/Santa Margarita Catholic HS), who scored the first Eagles goal, along with Long Beach State's Lindsay Bullock (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) and UC Irvine's Coco Goodson converted penalties and UCLA goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford made three saves in the 3-2 shootout triumph.
Many of the Eagles are from Ventura County and have played together since entering their teens. This team won six Cal South state championships and captured U.S. Youth Soccer Association titles at the U-14 (2004) and U-17 (2007) levels before reeling off two USASA U-23 successes.
Colorado Rush won USYSA U-17, -18 and -19 titles with the same team in 1999-2001.
“It is amazing what this team has accomplished, starting when they were just 13”, head coach Vince Thomas said on the club's website. “And now, eight years later, they have won more national titles than any other club soccer team in history.
“From the outset, this group relished competing against the best players in the country and in time came to appreciate that to win at the highest level, you must be very good individually -- and even better as a team. Four national titles and six state crowns in eight years is their legacy, but it is their incredible commitment to win that was the difference today and what makes them true champions on and off the ﬁeld.”
The Eagles roster, organized by college:
UCLA: Charney Burk (North Tustin), Ally Courtnall (Thousand Oaks), Amelia Mathis (Ventura), Chante' Sandiford (Owings Mills, Md.)
USC: Haley Boysen (Moorpark)
Long Beach State: Lindsay Bullock (Manhattan Beach)
UC Irvine: Judy Christopher (Ontario), Coco Goodson (Ramona), Monique Pendleberry (Newbury Park)
Pepperdine: K.C. Smith (Camarillo)
Kansas: Emily Cressy (Ventura), Lauren Jackson (Long Beach)
Oklahoma: Kelsey Kraft (Rancho Santa Margarita)
Texas: Amanda Lisberger (Pacific Palisades)
Washington State: Shannon McFadden (Ventura)