The Legends girls’ soccer team is set to represent the Santa Clarita Valley in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Sarasota, Florida, starting Tuesday. The first round will consist of three games in three days at Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch with the top four being decided based on who does the best through these three games.
The Legends making the National Championship mark the furthest any team ever has made it from Santa Clarita. To get there, they had to compete and come in first place at the Cal-South National Cup and qualify for Florida by finishing as a finalist at the Idaho Far West Regionals.
Their job isn’t finished yet but the historical feat is something head coach Adam Waddell and the team are proud of accomplishing. Waddell has instilled in his team to just take it one game at a time moving forward.
“For us, it is an honor to represent the city,” said Waddell. “Grinding from each tournament, national cup to regionals, Idaho to Florida, it is a lot of preparation. Mentally they are there and we have a strong group of girls from Santa Clarita. They have been working hard with countless hours and tons of games all summer.”
The 14-and-under group of girls look to compete in a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives before going on to high school to continue their soccer careers. Sierra Cordola, Mia Rodriguez and Gianna Costello all said they look forward to competing together in the hopes of winning the National Championship
Cordola has been on the team for three years and plans to play soccer at Saugus High School next season. Cordola attributes the team success to all the hard work they have put in all season, whether it was during workout schedule or on their own.
“(My coach’s) phrases will stick to me. Keep working hard. We didn’t come this far to only come this far,” said Cordola. “Winning the championship would be a dream come true. It would be the best thing to ever happen. I can’t even imagine coming this far and to win it would be the best thing. I’m planning on playing in college and that will be the best thing to put on a resume.”
Rodriguez has been on the team for a year and a half and plans to play soccer and tennis at Hart High School next season. Rodriguez is confident in her team and believes all the training and practice they have done puts them in the position to be ready for the next level.
“We’ve been practicing and training a lot. Twice a week, we’ve been preparing off how we did in Idaho,” said Rodriguez. “(Coach) always has a saying, hard work works, practice makes progress. I keep that in my mind while playing. We really applied that to the way we played and I think we work really well as a team.”
Costello also plans to play soccer at Hart next season with Rodriguez. Costello has been on the team for five years and attributes much of the team’s success to Waddell always encouraging them and figuring out how to fix their mistakes.
“I’ll always value when the coach says hard work works,” said Costello. “I always have that in my mindset. It would be awesome to win the championship. I don’t even know how I would feel. I would just be extremely happy.”
To help support the team and parents on all their travel and team expenses, visit www.gofundme.com/f/legends-scv-g07-usys-nationals-trip-to-florida.