Sunday morning, the Tennessee Soccer Club’s U18 Girls won the National Championship title against Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 (CO) 2-1 with goals by Julie Garst and Karlie Paschal.
Game recap from US Youth Soccer website:
For the second straight year, a Tennessee SC (TN) team won the 18U Girls National title. And just like a year ago, Karlie Paschall played a big role. The Duke commit helped TSC Showcase (TN) strike early before the side held on for a 2-1 victory over Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 (CO).
Paschall, a defender for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, made an immediate impact as a forward for Tennessee on Sunday. After assisting on two of her side’s goals in last year’s championship match, Paschall picked up right where she left off in the third minute against Arsenal. She slipped a perfectly weighted through ball between the back two defenders, and Tennessee’s Julie Garst placed her shot just inside the left post to give Tennessee an early 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Tennessee doubled its lead when Paschall laced a right-footed shot from just outside the box that went off the keeper’s fingertips and found the left side-netting. However, Arsenal continued the frantic start by pulling a goal back seconds later. Bailey Nemechek stepped up to win a ball at the top of the Tennessee penalty area and struck a shot that flew just under the bar and into the net.
Arsenal’s Esther Malers nearly equalized in the 12th minute but saw her shot hit the crossbar. After Paschall went down with an injury early in the second half, the Colorado side continued to create pressure as it pushed for an equalizer. Despite some close calls, the score remained unchanged, and Tennessee held on for the 2-1 victory to claim the 18U Girls title.
Tennessee coach Kyle Roelke said it took a full team effort to deal with some bumps and bruises along the path to the championship.
“We battled through it as a group. I couldn’t be happier with these girls,” Roelke said. “I don’t cry much, but I cried. I’ve only cried a couple times in my life. So, to me, that’s about the journey and how much this group has meant to me.”
Last year, TSC won its first National Championship when its U18 girls team beat Carlsbad Elite 3-0.
Also of note, Karlie Paschal and Sydney Malhem of TSC won the Golden Boot and Golden Glove Awards. Karlie received the Golden Boot Award, which is given to the leading goal scorer of the tournament. Karlie was also named MVP. Sydney received the Golden Glove Award, which is given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Their road to the Finals:
- Won 3-1 against Oklahoma FC in the final round of Regionals to win the opportunity to play at Nationals.
- In Prelim Round at Nationals – won 2-0 against Beadling 99 (PA-W) (RI-C), won 3-0 against Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 (CO) (RIV-C) and 4-2 against National Union 99 Black (MI) (NLBK) to advance
- Defeated National Union 99 Black (Michigan) 4-2 to advance to Semi’s at Nationals
- Beat Cleveland FC 4-2 to advance to Finals.