U9 Girls Team 1 - Thornhill Challenge Champions

U9 Girls Team 1 - Thornhill Challenge Champions

The August 20-21 weekend marked a first for the 2002 Girls Team 1. The young ladies were competing in their final tournament of the year, the Thornhill Challenge Cup. The U9’s are a talented bunch, but development has been the main focus for a large part of their first 2 years as a Rep level team. To date, the girls had never won a tournament competition. While this was no regret to anyone on the team, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a burning desire inside the players to lift their first trophy.

On Sunday August 21st, the 14 girls did just that. After playing 4 matches over the course of the weekend, the girls found themselves in a great position to win the tournament. They went 3-0 in the round-robin stage outscoring their opponents with 11 total goals for and just 1 against. After winning their pool, the girls went straight to the semi-finals vs. the Guelph Royals. The girls of Aurora completely dominated play winning the match 3-1. Had it not been for an outstanding Guelph goalkeeper, the score line would have been much larger.

The girls went on to the championship game vs. Ajax FC. The girls knew it would be a tough match. They have played 2 matches vs. Ajax in the past registering a draw and a win by just one goal. Ajax FC is a tough physical squad (with some really big girls!) and our Aurora girls knew it. The only words of wisdom from the coaching staff prior to the match were “mind over matter” and “want it more!”

After going down 1-0 early in the match, Aurora came back to tie it at 1. The game would remain tied at 1 until a few minutes into the 2nd half when Aurora popped a beautiful goal to go up 2-1. Then with just 6 minutes remaining in the match, Ajax stunned the Aurora faithful and tied the game at 2. Many thought this game was headed to extra time. Our Aurora girls were given a good beating physically on the day, tears were streaming from the eyes of many girls, fatigue and pain setting in but they never gave up. They kept getting pushed down and they kept getting back up. Every time they did so, they got up with more fire and more desire! The “want it more” factor became clear when Aurora took a 3-2 lead with a wonderful strike from a big distance away with just 2 minutes left to play. The tears quickly turned to smiles. Those 2 minutes must have felt like a lifetime for the girls, but they hung on and were crowned Thornhill Challenge Cup Champions!! Skill can only take you so far. If you do not have the desire and the heart to succeed, success remains a mere dream. These girls certainly have the heart and desire to compete, and it was proven first-hand to everyone who watched.

Congrats on a great weekend girls!