Surrey United U15 girls team has rewritten the history books.
On Monday, the girls beat out Monteuil Laval from Quebec to earn the U15 Girls Cup in the Toyota National Championships in Calgary.
The victory was a sweet one for the squad, who were considered underdogs going into the matchup. Surrey United lost their first match of the tournament against Monteuil Laval.
After the qualification phase, Monteuil Laval led Group B, which included Surrey United, with two wins and a +6 goal differential.
After beating Moncton 4-0 in the qualification round, and Kitchener 2-0 in the seeding round, Surrey United moved onto the final four. They played to a 0-0 draw against Edmonton, but they won 3-1 on penalty kicks.
Then, they were back on the field for the final, with the only team to show them defeat.
Left midfielder Sophia Kramer scored in the first half for United to give them a narrow 1-0 lead going into halftime. In the second half, that stingy defence held on for the 1-0 win.
“They battled as a group,” said head coach Ari Adams. “It was a team effort today and really for the whole tournament.
“It was a tough game. We hit a couple of crossbars. Kramer managed to hit one and we just took it from there.”
Surrey put on an incredible defensive performance over the next four games. Throughout the whole tournament, the only goal they allowed during play was in that first game versus Laval.
There was a sense of redemption from Adams and the U15 girls in this tournament. The team finished second in the same tournament last year.
“To come back the following year and win it all shows just how great these girls worked together,” said Adams.
This is the first time that Surrey United has won the Girls U15 National Title in the tournament’s 34-year history. No team from B.C. has won the tournament since Coquitlam Metro Ford won it all in 2010.
Adams said she will stick with the team as they compete for a U17 title in the near future.
Back in Surrey, the women’s team sat helplessly on the sidelines Monday, waiting for the results of the Edmonton Victoria’s versus Holy Cross FC from Newfoundland. The match would decide where Surrey would finish in the final standings.
An Edmonton draw or loss would have resulted in a win for Surrey. Edmonton needed two goals to win the title outright, and they beat Holy Cross 3-0 on Sunday to claim the title.
Head coach Spiro Pegios said he is extremely proud of his team’s effort.
“With all the adversity and everything it took for us to get here, the team performed as well as I could have expected,” he said.
“They showed me stuff that would make any coach proud.”
Adversity hit the team during their final game against Edmonton.
Surrey was down 2-0 early in the second half, but they battled back to tie the game up at 2-2. They had a chance to win the game in the final minutes, but Edmonton’s goalkeeper made a fantastic save to keep the game tied.
The format didn’t have a traditional final like the U15 Girls Tournament did. With only nine teams playing instead of 12, the seeding was split into three different categories. The games weren’t extended past 90 minutes, meaning that no game would be decided by extra time or penalty kicks.
After failing to beat Edmonton, Surrey had to sit and watch the outcome of Monday’s game to know where they would finish in the standings.
“It’s just too bad we couldn’t determine our own fate,” Pegios said.
Despite the loss, United players were gracious about playing Edmonton’s team.
“Our players said that they enjoyed playing against them,” Pegios said. “They’re a good team with great sportsmanship, and they’re a good representation of Canadian soccer.”