When celebrating a ten-year anniversary, it usually involves giving silver as a gift.
“It’s pretty crazy, it’s an honor, really it is,” said goaltender Cambell Fischer.
But in the tenth year of the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club, their gift year is covered in gold.
“It’s pretty exciting, I mean this was our goal from the beginning of the season and to actually achieve it with the team. Its great,” said center defender Addie Fawcett.
On Sunday, the Dakota Alliance 05 Girl’s Loons One team earned their first ever 14-U President’s Cup in over-time, the equivalent of a national title for this age group.
“It’s something that we wanted to achieve all year, and you think it’s realistic, but you don’t know that it’s actually going to happen. So for it to come through and for us to actually make this happen was pretty thrilling,” said Head Coach James Oppenheimer.
What’s even more impressive, the Loons didn’t give up a goal the entire tournament, as goaltender Cambell Fischer earned the Golden Glove award for top player.
“It was so exciting, I honestly didn't’ really expect it, but it was pretty awesome to get. I mean my back line is pretty good, so they help a lot,” said Fischer.
“That was really a point of pride for the girls, and we played some pretty good teams that pressured us and we were able to hold them out. We’re pretty solid in the back and scored some pretty good goals on the other end, said Oppenheimer.
After earning silver last year in this tournament as a 13-U team, Oppenheimer stepped in knowing that this team had what it takes to go out on top. The program rotates coaches every two years to give teams a variety in coaching experience.
“I feel like it was motivation because we knew what it felt like ot be on the losing side and we didn’t want that again,” said Fawcett.
“That defeat fueled them for this year and they wanted to get through and try and win the whole thing this year, which I mean to win this tournament you have to go through three whole events to actually do it. I think it was 11 games we had to win,” said Oppenheimer.
The attention the team is receiving is spreading state-wide, already getting messages from the mayor and even Senator John Thune.
“We’ve been working for 11 months now to get up to this point. I think what I will remember most is just how well we worked together and how much of a team we’ve grown to be. We’ve all evolved together to create this and have this,” said Fischer.
In just a few months many of these girls will be playing on high school teams across the Southeastern part of the state. But come next summer, they will return working to bring the gold back to South Dakota for a second straight year.
“I mean we keep working and see if maybe there’s more than we can do,” said Fischer.