By Ole Nielsen, Special to the Independent
After a successful year winning regional tournaments, the Blue Lagunas girls under 10 team tested their mettle in last week’s heat wave at the AYSO Nationals Cup in Knoxville, Tenn., and came home national champions.
After a day of acclimating to 95-100 degree temperatures and high humidity, the 10-member team would string together five victories (6-0 vs. Florida, 3-0 vs. Santa Monica, 10-0 vs. Tennessee team #1, 5-0 vs. Chicago and 7-0 vs. Tennessee team #2) earning them a spot in the finals.
The finals match would be against La Quinta, in 100+ degree heat and threatening thunderstorms. As winners of their pool, La Quinta came ready to compete. Both teams fought a physical back and forth battle that saw Laguna Beach up 2-0 at half time. At the beginning of the third quarter La Quinta scored off of a corner kick and redoubled the pressure. With literally five seconds to go, Laguna girls were able to score off of a break away, giving them a 3-1 victory over a tough opponent, and the title of division champions of the Nationals Cup!
The match concludes 11 months of soccer for the Blue Lagunas that saw a record of 40 wins, 1 loss and 3 ties, with 163 goals for and 21 goals against.
The team would like to thank its many supporters for their generous contributions to making this cross-country trip possible.
Ole Nielsen co-coached the winning Blue Lagunans.