Solar SC captures Girls Development Academy U-16/17 championship
IRVINE, Calif. (Via U.S. Soccer) – Following an impressive regular season campaign, Solar Soccer Club (Dallas, Texas) claimed the Girls U-16/17 Academy Championship on Thursday night with a 2-0 win against Texas rival Lonestar SC (Austin, Texas). Goals from Solar attackers Alexis Missimo and Trinity Byars, Youth National Team veterans and the team’s two leading scorers this season, sealed the victory for Solar at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, California.
With the victory, Solar becomes the first club to win Boys and Girls Academy Championships in the same year. The Solar U-16/17 Boys squad took home its Academy Championship on Wednesday night with a dramatic penalty kick shootout win against Concorde Fire (Atlanta ,Ga.). Solar is just the second club with both Boys and Girls Academy hardware, joining FC Dallas (Girls U-15 in 2018, four Boys titles).
The all-Texas U-16/17 championship match highlighted the Lone Star State’s remarkable Academy postseason. Six of the sixteen semifinalists in Irvine (four for the Boys U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups alongside four for the Girls U-15 and U-16/17 age groups) hailed from the state.
Byars and Missimo led the charge for Solar throughout the regular season and the Playoffs. Nicknamed “the Dynamic Duo” by their teammates, Missimo was the nation’s leading scorer in the regular season with 51 goals and won the Golden Boot as the postseason’s top scorer with 11. Byars was third in the regular season scoring rankings and added another 10 in the Playoffs.
Their sensational scoring output came a year after the pair came up just short in the 2018 Girls U-18/19 Academy Championship. Playing up with players three to four years older, Byars and Missimo fueled Solar’s run to the U-18/19 Final, where the team came up just short in a 2-0 defeat to LAFC Slammers. This year, the duo propelled Solar to the national title game and secured the trophy for their club.
Solar jumped out to an early lead on its Frontier Division rival in the 10th minute. Byars, the youngest member of the USA’s 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup squad, netted a rocket of a goal to give Solar its initial advantage. She received the ball on the run towards the box, took a few skipping dribbles and launched a banger to the top right corner to put Solar up 1-0. Byars won the Golden Ball as the postseason’s best player.
It was only fitting that it was Missimo to put the game on ice. Byars centered the ball for her beyond the top of the box, and she launched a rocket of her own that dipped just under the crossbar for her final goal of the season on the biggest stage.
While the ever-dynamic Solar offense took a 2-0 lead in the opening half-hour, Lonestar goalkeeper Makenna Garcia put in a tremendous performance to prevent another goal. She made a number of remarkable saves down the stretch to keep her team’s title hopes alive late into the game.
In other awards announced following the final, FC Dallas goalkeeper Jordyn Gunnarson won the Golden Glove as the postseason’s best goalkeeper and Beach FC won the Fair Play award.