CYSA Doubles Its Pleasure — Two CYSA Teams Emerge as National Champions!

Two CYSA teams returned home from Massachusetts after a victorious pursuit of the prestigious title of "US Youth Soccer National Champion!" After five days of facing intermittent downpours and the nation's toughest soccer competitors, the De Anza Force 92 Blue and the Mustang Blast were California-bound with their names etched on the trophies awarded at the most esteemed competition in youth soccer.

In the Under-14 Girls final, the Mustang Blast and CASL Spartans Elite Black, from North Carolina, met for the second time in three days, both launching a first attempt at garnering a national championship. After playing to a scoreless tie on Wednesday in their preliminary match, the competitors knew they would face a worthy adversary in the title contest.

In Saturday's championship match, CASL tested the Blast with several shots on goal. Beth Ritter, Mustang's goalkeeper, proved she was up to the challenge and with the help of her defense was able to turn back the Spartans' attack. In the 26th minute, the Blast offense eased some of the pressure when Stephanie Amack netted a goal. The Mustang team worked to retain possession and kept CASL at bay to preserve the 1-0 win and claim the Elmer Ehlers Cup and the National Championship.

On Sunday, everything was at stake as the De Anza Force 92 Blue took on the Ponte Vedra Storm, who looked to become the first girls' team from Florida in 12 years to win the National Championship. De Anza's mission was to culminate their improbable journey from Lancaster, Calif., to Lancaster, Mass., by taking home the Under-16 Girls US Youth Soccer Cup. After finishing second at Regionals, De Anza was given the opportunity to compete as the Region IV representatives at Nationals due to the fact that the Far West Regional Champions, So Cal Blues, had already secured their spot in the competition via their second-place finish in the National League.

The Force proved they were worthy of the invitation and seized the opportunity. After playing 42 minutes of scoreless soccer against the Storm, Lorin Hom gave Force the 1-0 lead two minutes after the second-half kickoff. De Anza keeper Emily Kruger managed to turn away the eight shots on frame taken by Ponte Vedra. The Force defenders fought off the Storm's advances while the offense tenaciously retained control of the ball and the match. The 1-0 score stood, earning the De Anza girls the National Championship title and trophy.

Only twice before in CYSA's history has it been represented by two national champions in the same season; first in 1994 when the Sunnyvale Roadrunners 78 U16 Girls and the De Anza Magic U17 Girls both won; and again in 2004 when the Pleasanton Rage U19 Girls and the Mustang Blast U15 Girls both secured the title.

The road to the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series will begin again when CYSA State Cup applications for the 2009/2010 season start to roll in beginning in August. Watch the CYSA website for the announcement regarding the new application.