FC Dallas TRI not only finished third overall in the tournament, they also were presented with the sportsmanship award by the referees who officiated the event.
“The take away from this experience is that it reaffirms why the girls want to play the game of soccer at the very highest level,” said FC Dallas TRI coach Matt Barry. “This was the experience of a lifetime. At the beginning of this process, there were more than 10,000 soccer teams across the country in all age groups trying to get to their respective Final Fours.
“This was a unique opportunity and unique experience,” added Barry. “These girls sacrificed a great deal to be in this position, and will never forget what they accomplished over this entire postseason.”
The FC Dallas TRI won both the Tennessee state championship and the Region III tournament played in Oklahoma.
FC Dallas had beaten Academy Elite 3-1 earlier in the national tournament but found themselves trailing 2-0 on Sunday.
Goals from Paige Carlsen, Julia Luna and Emma Arnold allowed FC Dallas TRI to rally for a 3-2 advantage. But a late goal from Academy Elite left the two squads knotted a 3-3 when the final whistle blew.
“I’d take these girls anywhere to compete,” said Barry. “They were so willing to be coached. That’s what made all of this so much fun.”
In the national championship game, the BAC Blitz from Fairfax, Va., edged the Westside Breakers Blue from California 1-0 to take the title.