On July 28, local powerhouse McLean Freedom brought the 16U national championship to the Northern Virginia area, as the ladies defeated the Dallas Texans 91 Red, 3-2, to capture the victory in the final match of the 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series in Frisco, Texas.
Dallas, with the clear home-field advantage, packed the stands and the sidelines with fans hoping to see the local favorite take home the championship.
However, the upstart Freedom were not about to let what seemingly was an additional player for the Red get in their way, as the overtime victory brought cheers throughout the small McLean section, stacked with parents and siblings alike who made the cross-country jaunt to the tournament.
“At this level and this situation you have to play well and you have to be a little lucky,” McLean Freedom Head Coach Clyde Watson said in a press release. “The two [came together] for us today.”
Kimberley Castleberry struck first for the Texans in the 30th minute, but the Freedom's Jenna Richmond promptly knotted the score at one apiece in the 42nd. In what was a tight, defensive battle, the score stood 1-1 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Freedom star Caroline Miller would serve as the difference maker, netting goals in the 86th and 95th to put her team ahead for good.
However, the home team would not go down without a fight, as Lauren LaGro got the Texans within one goal, scoring in the 109th.
However, Dallas was unable to muster any further tallies, leading to the 3-2 victory for McLean.
“Despite that this is our first time [in the tournament], we knew that [winning] was one of our goals, but we weren't crazy enough to think that it would actually happen,” said Watson. “But we figured that we would have a heck of a time trying to make it happen.”