SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Celtic FC are national champions.
The Utah County-based youth soccer team (19U) dominated Lou Fusz Elam (Missouri) Sunday morning in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series final, winning the national title game 9-1.
Celtic was the dominant side from the outset Sunday, in the final played at Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kansas.
"It's awesome. It's been a great experience working with the girls. I've been the coach for about five years now and seeing all the hard work pay off with the national championship, especially because this is their last year together, they're all heading off to college. Our last game together is a national championship," said head coach Steve Magleby.
Kate Schirmer, a Lone Peak High alum and Snow College signee, netted a hat trick to lead the way for Celtic — she finished the tournament with seven goals scored — and was one of seven Celtic players to find the back of the net.
"The way that our team plays, we kind of wear teams down. After a long week, it's hard to kind of keep up with how our team plays. It's just a testament to the girls for just sticking with our process and wearing teams down. Everything just kind of came together today. They were all firing on all cylinders and everyone on the same page. It was a lot of fun to watch them play," Magleby said.
Among the other goal scorers were Brecken Mozingo, a UCLA signee, Tara Warner (BYU), Anna Pickering (Utah), Samantha Brady (Minnesota), Megan Astle (Utah State) and Rebecca Olsen (Salt Lake Community College).
"For every coach, that's what it's all about. Getting these players opportunities to fulfill their dreams and play at a high level. It's the byproduct of focusing on the girls and how they're doing and having a great team. It's been fun helping them through that process and seeing them achieve their goals. I'm excited to continue to watch them and see how they do at the next level," Magleby said.
The national title is the first claimed by a Utah-based team in 40-plus years and caps an impressive run by Utah Celtic FC.
The club is five-time State Cup champions, two-time Region IV champions, two-time Desert Premier League champions, 2017 US Youth Soccer national champion finalists and, of course, 2019 US Youth Soccer national champions.
Pickering started the goal scoring in the 12th minute of the first half, a goal that was quickly followed by another (Warner, 20’) and then a pair of scores by Schirmer (25’ and 33’).
Celtic then stretched its lead to 5-0 in the opening minutes of the second half on a strike by Mozingo (49’).
Late goals were added by Brady (73’), Astle (88’) and Olsen (90’), with the single goal scored by Lou Fusz Elam coming in the 85th minute off the foot of Jessica Preusser.
Utah Celtic FC finished the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series a near perfect 15-0, the only blemish coming when they drew with Lou Fusz Elam 0-0 earlier in the series.
"It was amazing. We had five teams out here, so we had a good representation from Utah and we were able to watch almost all their games, but that Celtic team is special. They've been playing together for a long time, they've got a good coach. To watch them finish it off with our first national championship was just thrilling and a culmination of a lot of hard work and excellent coaching and excellent players," said Bryan Attridge, CEO of Utah Youth Soccer.