FC Dallas girls pocket state league championship

Tanner Cook • Updated Jun 4, 2018 at 10:16 PM

The weather this spring, producing a near-record amount of rainfall, certainly affected sports schedules at every level — delaying games or creating cancelations.

However, that did not deter the FC Dallas Tri U15 girls soccer team from coming home from Murfreesboro with a Division 2 State League championship over the weekend — after winning 5-1 over Emerald Force Santos in the final.

The club will next play in the 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Region Presidents Cup from June 12-17 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Group play starts on Wednesday, June 12 with one game per day for three days. The South region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Northern Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Southern Texas and Tennessee.

Four teams will advance from group play to compete in the semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday.

The FC Dallas girls are from all over the Tri-Cities and include Jada Baker, Parker Fleenor, Hannah Laughlin, Lali Lemmon, Miaka Miller, Meggie Powell, Claire Rountree, Kennice Taylor and Sophia Youngman, all from Johnson City.

Kingsport natives include Brantley Coggins, Tayla Holt and Annabeth Parker. Additional players are Sophie Arnold (Bristol), Claire Helms (Bristol), Bailey Meade (Greeneville) and Olivia Norris (Greeneville).

“We had a lot of games and practices get rained out or canceled because of the weather,” said head coach Andrew Coggins. “I think it affected the mindset of the girls early on, but we started hitting on all cylinders at the right time of the year.

“It made it even sweeter because we beat a team that we had tied earlier in the year.”

The club plays year-round soccer throughout the Southeast, with practice beginning in August and running until the following summer. The girls on this team were born in the years 2003 and 2004.

The club has played in tournaments in Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville and Roanoke this spring, winning all of them except the one in Greensboro.

“When we won the tournament in Roanoke, we knew that it was starting to come together,” Coggins said.

The team was seeded fifth in the Tennessee state tournament, according to Coggins, and it played the second-best team out of the western division. FC Dallas Tri won the quarterfinal match over EESC (Nashville), 8-3. From there came a 4-1 semifinal conquest of FC Academy. 

Brantley Coggins, Fleenor, Lemmon, Powell and Youngman all scored in the state tournament in Murfreesboro.

“This team is just so much fun to work with,” Coach Coggins said. “This team has so many different personalities. We have some girls that are really fast, some that are goal-hungry, some that are great defenders and some that are great leaders. We have four girls on the team in high school and the rest are in either seventh or eighth grade. We have some great talent on this team.”

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