UPDATE: Another First for Idaho Soccer as NovaNationals Play in U.S. Finals 

click to enlarge Boise NovaNationals: Second in the Nation

U.S. Youth Soccer

Boise NovaNationals: Second in the Nation

UPDATE: July 25, 2015

After going scoreless in an intense defensive duel with Gretna Prima Green of Gretna, Nebraska, the NovaNationals of Boise, featuring the cream of Idaho soccer's crop lost in penalty kicks, but still ended up as Idaho's most successful soccer club in Gem State history. ORIGINAL STORY: July 24, 2015

click to enlarge FC NOVANATIONALS TEAM PHOTO
  • FC NovaNationals team photo
With less than 24 hours before the U.S. Youth Soccer Championship final in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Idaho’s U-19 girls FC NovaNationals team is preparing to be the first from the Gem State to contend for a national title. For a group of girls who have been playing soccer together for the better part of a decade, 2015’s U.S. Youth Soccer Championship in Tulsa is analogous to that of a family reunion for FC NovaNationals.

“Growing up, playing with and against each other has allowed us to learn how each player plays and has given us many opportunities for growth throughout the past 8 years,” Madie Apsey (Timberline High School graduate and current Carroll College student) told Boise Weekly.

The team’s sister-like dynamic is an important element of the success they’re had over the years. The U-19 FC NovaNationals team made history on July 23, after beating the number 1 seeded Gretna Prima (Nebraska) and advancing to the final. They're the second Idaho team to win the Far West regional championship and will be the first representing the state when they compete in the national title game.

“Idaho soccer is expanding and at a quick rate. We are thankful we get to be a part of the process and have the chance to really put Idaho on the map,” says Maggie Saras (Timberline High School traduate and current Regis University student).

The road to the National Championship final has not been an easy one for the FC NovaNationals. The team, comprised of players from FC Nova and Boise Nationals clubs, was formed just shortly before this past May's State Cup tournament. Girls from both teams made the decision to reconcile their past rivalry and work toward the greater goal of bringing home a national title.

click to enlarge FC NOVANATIONALS TEAM PHOTO
  • FC NovaNationals team photo
“The level of competition here is exceptionally high, seeing as it's the best of the best, and there is very little room for mistakes,” said Grace Hancock (Boise High School graduate and current Washington State University student). Hancock added that the tough summer weather conditions in Tulsa added to the challenges facing them in the tournament.

On Saturday, July 25 at 4:45 pm MST, FC NovaNationals will face Gretna Prima once more, only this time for the national title.

“As a team, they are technically strong and have substantial pace up top,” Lizzie Thometz (Bishop Kelly High School graduate and current Regis University student) said of their opponent. Thometz credits rest and mental preparation as being key as they gear up for the big game.

“We just hope we can be great representatives,” says Saras.

The National Championship final will be streaming live at http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/live


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