San Jose Earthquakes win Girls U-15 Development Academy title
IRVINE, Calif. (Via U.S. Soccer) – Following a remarkable regular season campaign, San Jose Earthquakes won the Girls U-15 Development Academy Championship with a 3-0 victory against the Colorado Rush. San Jose completed an undefeated 2018-19 season that saw the team go 34-0-3 overall with a plus-110 goal differential.
With the victory, San Jose becomes the second Girls U-15 Academy Champion and the second MLS club to take home the title after FC Dallas lifted the trophy last year. While Colorado Rush goalkeeper Harlee Head and her back line held strong through stretches of pressure from the Earthquakes throughout the game, San Jose, the Playoffs’ No. 1 seed put together another complete performance in the title tilt. Julia Saunicheva and Jasmine Aikey, the Quakes’ leading scorers throughout the Playoffs secured the victory.
After a strong showing in their 6-0 semifinal win over Placer United, San Jose wasted no time getting on the board against Colorado. In the third minute, the Earthquakes pounced on a misplaced pass in the back and sent Saunicheva through on goal. The forward took a touch and slotted it through the legs of the Rush ‘keeper for the game’s opening goal in the third. The goal marked her fifth of the Playoffs.
San Jose doubled its advantage less than 10 minutes later. Yuna McCormack threaded a lovely through ball between two Rush defenders for Aikey. The Quakes’ leading postseason scorer sent a rolling shot to the right corner for a 2-0 lead in the 13th minute. McCormack won the Golden Ball as the postseason’s best player.
The Bay Area club’s final goal came in the 37th minute when the referee pointed to the spot after a foul in the box. Aikey lined up for the kick and coolly slotted it home for her second of the day and sixth of the postseason. In the second half, the Rush defense kept the Earthquakes from finding another goal but weren’t able to pull one back.
In other awards announced following the final, San Diego Surf goalkeeper Nona Reason won the Golden Glove as the postseason’s best ‘keeper and FC Dallas’ Taylor Zdrojewski won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading scorer. San Diego Surf also won the postseason’s Fair Play award.