Louisiana Fire 2005 Red Girls repeat as US Club Soccer 05 National Champions
This summer now features just another step in making state soccer history for the Louisiana Fire 05 Girls Red team.
In the finals against Kansas City Fusion, both teams hunkered down but the Fire’s Grace Green of Northshore was able to score what turned out to be the winning goal behind Kuyper’s clean sheet in a 1-0 victory last weekend in the deciding match of the National Premier Leagues US Club Soccer finals in Denver.
Mandeville goalie Rylie Kuyper came along to help them along the way.
The win was the second straight for the Girls program.
In their Group stage, the Fire had no challenge from a Chicago team, 6-1. Then their next game against a team from Utah didn’t provide much of a challenge either with the Fire taking a 3-0 win.
It was in the third game that the team’s mettle got tested. Rhode Island’s Bayside FC took the early lead, forcing the Fire to make adjustments. Head coach Doug Freeze’s changes jump-started the attack to fuel a 4-3 victory.
In the semis where they found themselves down early again against a Pennsylvania foe, the Fire had to respond again and again. Behind a brace by Green plus goals from Nya Bridgewater, Shelby Wallace and Lainey Connell, the Louisiana girls escaped in a 5-4 thriller. A late full-extension save by Kuyper helped preserve the win after the Fire had rallied from down 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in the match.
All would have been lost for most teams but as Freeze said in his interview on the Monday Night Futbol podcast, these girls used to winning big events usually are at their best when they are down. Green scored the game-winner in the Fire’s final two wins of the championships.
The 05 girls next play in the USYS National Championships where they again will be the underdogs. Would you wager against them?
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2013 – Present…Head Soccer Coach, De La Salle High School 2007 – 2011…Head Soccer Coach, Archbishop Shaw High School 2004 – Present…Director of Coaching for Soccer Innovations of America 2006…Asst. Head Coach, St. Martin’s Girls Team 2006…ODP Louisiana Staff Coach 1986-2005…Brother Martin High School; Head coach 1986; 1994 -2004 State Champions 2000 2000 District 10 Div. I Coach of the…