After three separate weather delays and more than four hours, the FC Nova Nationals U-19 girls soccer team finally took the field against Nebraska’s Gretna Prima Green on Thursday in Tulsa, Okla.
The Nova Nationals had yet to score a goal in two previous tournament matches, and they needed a win to assure themselves a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championship game.
It didn’t take long for the Nova Nationals to get the monkey off their back.
Akina Fujimoto (Mountain View High, Regis University) scored in the fifth minute from 30 yards out on an assist by Maggie Saras (Timberline High, Regis), and Rikki Fix (Boise High, Regis) gave the Nova Nationals a 2-0 lead by the 11th minute en route to a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Gretna Prima at the Mohawk Soccer Complex.
It has been an historic summer for the Nova Nationals, a team comprised of players from rival clubs FC Nova and the Boise Nationals.
The Idaho squad won the state’s first Far West regional championship in June, earning Idaho’s second berth to nationals. Thursday marked another milestone, as the Nova Nationals became the first Idaho team to advance out of group play at nationals.
They hope the story doesn’t end there.
The Nova Nationals play Gretna Prima again at 4:45 p.m. MT Saturday for the national title. The game will be streamed live at championships.usyouthsoccer.org/live.
Nova Nationals coach Eric Simmonsen said the support the team has received in recent days has been overwhelming.
“It’s pretty cool the way people are rallying around them and sharing in their belief,” Simmonsen said.