FC Missoula U14 girls earn trip to nationals
MISSOULA, Mont. - The hot latter months of summer aren't typically used for playing organized team soccer, but since one local team is making history they have no other choice.
"I feel like I definitely gained a lot of confidence; I think I can say the same for my teammates," said midfielder Taryn Tudsbury. "It was really good competition. So it was really cool to see what you could work on and just to see how your team can handle the pressure."
That pressure came at the end of June, when the U14 FC Missoula girls team won the Northwest Regional Tournament in Yakima, Washington.
"It was just a really great accomplishment coming as a new team and we were very proud," said midfielder Quincy Morrison.
Now these girls are off for Indiana where they will compete in the US Club Soccer National Cup XVI Finals on July 21-24.
"It's pretty amazing, because we're the second team from Montana to make it to nationals," said forward Delani Walker. "I think it's just a really cool experience."
While this team has been turning heads across the Northwest, it's been the support of others in Missoula that has them primed and ready for nationals.
"The city of Missoula never ceases to amaze you on people that step up," said the team's head coach Travis Walker, who had a very successful college career for the Montana Grizzly football team. "People that you would not think that would do anything are donating money. Businesses are donating. It's just an incredible place to live and you know people rally around something that's good."
These girls are excited for their tournament appearance but they're not just content on being there.
"I want to make it to the knockout round and be able to compete against every team and show that Montana can compete against everybody," said Delani Walker.
Aside from the on-field competition, perhaps the best part about their upcoming tournament is having yet another summer trip.
"Including Seattle and Yakima, this will be my third summer vacation for soccer," smiled Tudsbury. "Yeah it's just really fun."
Win, lose or draw, this group of young soccer standouts has already made their home state proud.