XENIA — Nine area athletes are heading to Florida to take part in a national club soccer tournament.
The 2022 US Youth Soccer National Championships kicks off on Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.
Club Ohio Dayton 07G Elite will compete in the girls U15 division of the competition and is primarily comprised of Greene County high school students. Five girls attending Bellbrook, three at Carroll, and one from Beavercreek help make up the 17-player roster.
“They’re just a great group of girls that will work hard and it’s just been an incredible accomplishment,” said Brad Stork, an assistant coach for the team. “I have to go back on the exact days, but they won Presidents Cup, which is a lower level of the state cup, I think four years ago, then last year they were state finalists and now they advance to the national championship.”
Stork is also the head coach for Bellbrook’s girls varsity team and has Georgie Earley, Julia Fleck, Jordan Frantz, Caitlyn Hansen, and Ella Stillings from that team playing for Club Ohio.
Sisters Dakota and Sierra Clark represent Carroll, as well as Eva Snyder from Jamestown who will be attending this fall. Beavercreek is represented by Rebecca Morse. Familiar faces are their teammates, hailing from schools like Alter, Butler, Springboro, and Waynesville.
Club Ohio, coached by Meagan Moran, qualified for the national competition after a second place finish in the National League P.R.O. event over teams from Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Texas. The finals are a culmination of a year-long series at the state and regional levels.
Competitions in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana have helped prepare the team for the higher level of quality expected in Florida, but Stork also noted how they all have been great bonding experiences for the girls to experience.
“When we were in Arizona, they had an interview with Julia Fleck and she made mention of the fact that it’s amazing to play in front of all these college coaches, that you’re always playing with your best friends and just to hear that as a coach was like, this is good stuff,” Stork said. “It’s been an amazing family as well as just a soccer competition.”
The team at the national championships will start play in Bracket B and have three round robin games against clubs from Utah, Mississippi and Illinois. There are 16 teams in total competing for the championship, which will crown its champion on July 24. At least one yet to be determined match in the group stage will be available on streaming, as well as possibly others as the team would advance in the tournament.
Club Ohio Dayton is based out of Bellbrook and is an affiliate of Club Ohio Soccer located in Dublin.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.