Legends FC brings home two national titles 

SCV Legends U16 team. Photo Courtesy of Legends FC.

Legends FC is in the midst of a dynasty in girls club soccer and expanded that feat tenfold in 2023. 

Legends SCV 2007 FC brought home its second straight National Premier Cup championship in early July. The feeling was infectious, and certainly gave a boost to the club’s 2010 team, who matched the feat just a few days later. 

Neither team had an ideal path to the national crown as the 2007s struggled in league play this season while the injury plagued-2010s were a last-minute invite to the prestigious tournament. 

The two teams were crowned in Oceanside, where the ’07s beat FC Premier 1-0 with the game-winning goal coming off the leg of Lily Golphenee. 

Forward Ava Magana fired a cross into the box to captain Gianna Costello but she laid off the ball to Golphenee for the go-ahead goal. 

“It was amazing,” Golphenee said in a phone interview. “We were just so excited. Everybody was hyping each other after that great play. It was so amazing and everyone just supports one another all the time.” 

The ’07s held on for the title and held their opponents scoreless for the championship. It was goalkeeper Sierra Cordola’s second clean sheet of the tournament.  

“Our goalkeeper, Sierra, did so well at nationals,” Golphenee said. “She made amazing saves and nothing really gets by her. If the ball ends up back there, I know she’s going to save it.” 

The 2010s played in an even tighter match and were forced into their second penalty kick shootout of the tournament. Legends keeper Parker Wiese stepped up and clinched the national title after stopping the CDA Slammers’ final penalty kick attempt, winning the wild shootout, 9-8. 

Wiese had all sorts of antics to get into her opponents’ heads and needed every bit of it in her two shootouts. 

“I’m definitely trying to get into their heads,” Wiese said in a phone interview. “I’m on my toes, I try to move around all the time, so I’m not so stiff and can have good reflexes. Sometimes I try to grab the ball and put it down for them. I stare them down a little bit when I walk back to the line.” 

The Slammers had defeated Legends U13 in five straight games, and even with several key injuries, the team found a way. Head coach Adam Waddell was amazed with his young team’s performance under the pressure of a national championship. 

“The pressure on these girls was enormous,” Waddell said in a phone interview. “It’s a long 40-yard walk to the box with everyone watching, and to go up and hit those shots takes a lot of confidence. I didn’t even watch any of the kicks, I just looked away. I looked at the other coach during the last kick and could tell by his reaction we won. (Slammers) may have felt it’d be a walk in the park but these girls held together during their constant attack.”   

Golphenee helped set the tone for the ’07s from the get-go and has come back stronger than ever from an ACL tear and surgery. The Legends forward netted a hat trick in the first game, a 7-0 win over Valor. The team was then forced into PK’s in their second match as neither they nor the Colorado Rapids could break a 1-1 draw. Cordola came in clutch in the penalty shootout and lifted the ’07s into the semifinals, where they bested the Utah Avalanche. 

The championship was even sweeter for the ’07s, after they fell to Premier FC, 2-1, in their regular-season matchup.  

The ’10s started their tournament off with a nailbiter against the tournament’s top-ranked team, the Utah Avalanche’s 13U squad. Down 2-0, Waddell made some gambles and changes that paid off and eventually the Legends forced penalties. 

Wiese held strong and led her team to a 3-2 win in PKs.  

“That team could have beat us 5-2 but the ball bounced our way,” Waddell said. “Parker, our goalie, came up with two huge stops. From there on in the tournament, we could risk anything. We thought our path would be a little easier but we came across more top dogs.” 

SCV Legends U13 team. Photo Courtesy of Legends FC.

Wiese then posted back-to-back shutouts against Los Angeles Soccer Club, 3-0, in the quarterfinals and South Valley Surf, 1-0, in the semifinals.  

Both teams took some lumps in league play and didn’t really have a national championship on their minds earlier in the season.  

The ’07s had a hot start in league but cooled off due to the team getting away from its “hard-working for everything” mentality. 

“We were on top in league, but in the second half, it became a little more difficult,” Golphenee said. “We were expecting to stay on top, thinking no other team could beat us, and it was bad to have that mentality. It really humbled us.” 

The team wasn’t satisfied with its third-place finish in league but defender Mackenzie Wiese, Parker’s older sister, saw the slump as an opportunity.  

“At the beginning of the year, we did pretty good,” Mackenzie said in a phone interview. “We had a few missed opportunities to win. It didn’t faze us but it showed us we needed to put in more work and push ourselves even harder. Third in league was not where we wanted to be.” 

The 2010s were injury-plagued throughout the season and weren’t even sure if they’d go to the National Cup. 

“We definitely didn’t expect to even make it into nationals, and even winning it we were so surprised,” Parker said. “We had a mediocre season and the thought of winning nationals was not even in our mind. But all the work we put into it paid off in the end.” 

Waddell knows every player had a critical role in the team’s success, injured or not. The 2010 depth players began to start and handled the pressure well, but for Waddell, his star goalie’s season stands out. 

“If there was any kind of secret to our success, it’s our goalie,” Waddell said. “There were so many shots where I turned my head thinking it was a goal and she’d make the save. She steps on the field and gets into Parker mode. She gets a lot of support from her family and teammates and she loves playing goalie.” 

Waddell was also impressed with Alex De La Vega, Angelina Trejo, Casey O’Donnell and Vanessa Bonner.  

Delavega returned from an ankle injury and showed much better consistency than before. Bonner and O’Donnell had hardly started any games all year but took over as starters on the backline throughout the championship tournament. Trejo was vital to the team’s offense and was consistent all year for the 2010s. 

The ’07s had their share of stars shining on the field as well. Golphenee, Costello and Mia Rodriguez were critical to the team’s success scoring the ball while Mackenzie’s presence on the defensive side was always felt. 

“Mackenzie Wiese played stellar defense all year and it continued in the finals as she and her captains Gianna Costello and Mia Rodriguez, and teammates were able to win another national championship.” 

The 2007s won’t get too ahead of themselves and start talking about a three-peat. According to Waddell, the team doesn’t take any days off and consistently grinds to get better on the pitch. That work ethic could just lead to a third national title for a core that’s played together since they were 6 years old. 

“I have so much confidence in our team as a whole,” Golphenee said. “I feel like we have no weak spots. Everyone works so hard and just grinds every day.” 

The players were quick to recognize their coaches: Waddell and Andy Bruno, saying none of the championships would be possible without them. 

“(Waddell) is the best coach I’ve ever had,” Mackenzie said. “He’s super uplifting and cares about the team so much. A lot of coaches aren’t like him because they’re worried about the parents. He puts the players first, guides us in soccer and he’s always a great coach in life.” 

Waddell is seeing his players and his club grow in front of him. Legends will soon have its own facility with a turf field to house the championship club and its developing standout athletes. 

“‘I’ll never forget the teams, players and their families,” Waddell said. “We’re starting to see the ’10s come up and run the program. They’re helping the 5- and 6-year-olds now and I remember when they were that old and I was teaching them at that level.” 

After winning the national title, the team qualified for the Surf Cup in Arizona. Legends ’07 went undefeated in front of dozens of college scouts who were able to get a jump on the young and talented players from Santa Clarita. 

Both teams will aim to make it back to nationals and will still feel like they have something to prove. 

“I really hope we can go back, do it again, and prove to ourselves that we are worthy,” Parker said. “We want to put in the work and actually get the invite next year so we can prove our title wasn’t just luck. I definitely think we can get back to nationals. I’ve known everyone for a couple years at least. They’re like a second family to me. When I’m surrounded by them, they make me feel like I can accomplish anything.” 

Legends 2007 National Championship roster:

Kennedy Arnold, Isabella Bruno, Mikaela Burchell, Sierra Cordola, Bella Costello, Gianna Costello, Sophia DeCesare, Riley Edemann, Natalia Fernandez, Abigail Frink, Lily Golphenee, Halle Greenfield, Ava Magana, Emily Martinez, Kylie O’Donnell, Alyssa Owens, Addison Rhee, Mia Rodriguez, Kylee Rose, Gisele Saravia, Mackenzie Wiese, and Julia Willis.

Legends 2010 National Championship roster:

Iliana Aguilar, Jersey Baker, Vanessa Bonner, Brooklyn Ciccone, Alex De La Vega, Mila Denison, Yasmin Diaz, Olivia Lopez, Brooklyn Magallanes, Alexa Nickels, Casey O’Donnell, Ashley Patterson, Destiny Renteria, Camilla Rodriguez, Angelina Trejo, Kelly Wieckowski, Parker Wiese, Guests: Eva Jorgenson, Nyomi Lopez, and Casey Tumlos.

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