3RSC (Three Rivers Soccer Club) G03/04 Black is a team of young women that can be described as the true definition of a Cinderella story. When formed in late Spring 2021, this team was a group of a few ladies born in 2003 combined with a group of ladies born in 2004. Over the Summer, because of injuries, a couple more ladies were added. Plagued with more injuries and illness, the team added and subtracted players from the roster over the course of Fall and Winter. And while this may seem like a patchwork group of players, this team began to rack up win after win. These wins came despite the fact that, on occasion, they went to away games in the greater Seattle area with only 11 players (no subs). AND they played field players as goalie in several games because their goalie was injured. AND they picked up a new goalie that had only played goalie for her high school team. In fact, by the end of their RCL (Regional Club League) Division 1 season of play, this easily-underestimated Eastern Washington team's record was 12 wins, 0 losses, and 1 tie. Something was in the air for these ladies. Everyone close to the team knew that there was something special here.
They started their run for the State Cup Championship title. One game after the next, they shut down their opponents...really shut down their opponents. Not one goal was scored against them during the four games of pool play of State Cup. Then, they moved to the semi-finals round. During the first half of the game, there were a couple of unfortunate events that resulted in the 3RSC team trailing their opponent 0-2. It seemed like this could be the end of their magical season. However, one beautiful goal was followed by another to end the half tied 2-2. The second half decidedly belonged to 3RSC as they scored two more goals to finish the game 4-2 to secure their spot in the finals. The final game of Washington Cup was a hard fought battle against a very physical team played in the cold Seattle rain. 3RSC ended the first half 1-0. The second half of the game was a game of endurance that these ladies won. In the final four minutes of the game, 3RSC scored three more goals to end the game 4-0 and take home the Washington Youth Soccer Championship Cup. This secured their spot in the USYS (US Youth Soccer) Far West Regional Championships.
Set in Boise from June 20 - June 26, 2022, the USYS Far West Regional Championships brought the top 12 teams from the region to compete. During the first day of pool play, 3RSC faced the top Montana team. While 3RSC emerged victorious with a 2-1 win, they faced the setback of a player needing to seek medical attention for a significant head injury. The second game of pool play was a battle against a rather strong Utah team in the increasing heat under an unforgiving sun. The Utah team answered each goal that 3RSC scored with a goal of their own. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, and a couple of the 3RSC players bordered on heat exhaustion. Their third game in just as many days was again played in the broiling heat. This time, 3RSC faced Boise's own team. 3RSC came out strong and led 2-0 early in the second half. However, Boise countered. Within the last minutes of the game, the score was tied 3-3. 3RSC had another player taken out of the game due to injury. Finally, Boise snuck in another goal during the last minute of the game. 3RSC lost 3-4...their first loss on this long journey.
Thankfully, the ladies of 3RSC had performed well enough in the first two days of Regionals to secure the "Wildcard" spot in the Quarterfinals round of the tournament. They were set to face that physically daunting Utah team they had played in game two. After one day of rest and a switch from afternoon to morning games, 3RSC prepared for another 90-minute fight...and fight they did! Unleashing the full power of their strong defense, crafty midfield, and aggressive front line, 3RSC took down Utah 2-0 and punched their card to the semifinals.
The following morning, 3RSC took the pitch to face an Arizona team that seemed physically equal to them. 3RSC trailed Arizona 0-1 at the end of the first half. The ladies tied it up in the second half and continued to absolutely control the remainder of the game. However, 3RSC suffered the loss of another player to injury (the third during this tournament). This time, the player needed to be taken off the field by ambulance. Determined to win the game for their injured teammate, the ladies scored in the final minute to end the game with a 2-1 win.
The USYS Far West Regional Championship game was played on a sunny Sunday morning between 3RSC and United PDX (Oregon). After an early goal by Oregon in the first half, 3RSC turned the tide of the game. They set their sites on that Championship title and exploited every weakness that Oregon had. This very talented 3RSC team finished the tournament with a 3-1 win over United PDX. This became a dream realized: 3RSC G03/04 Black would be the first team (male or female) from the Tri Cities to qualify for the USYS National Championship!
The USYS National Championship will be played in Orlando, FL at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from July 19 to July 24, 2022. This prestigious and historic tournament dates back to 1935 and features teams from across the country. The young women of 3RSC G03/04 Black will be facing the winners from the three other regions of the country (East, Midwest, and South) along with the winning teams from the National League...3RSC will be facing the best competition in the nation. These ladies will have the opportunity to be scouted by top collegiate, pro and international coaches as they play the sport that they play so beautifully and skillfully. WHEN (not if) they make it to the Championship game on July 24, their game will be televised on ESPN 3.
Their hard work and strong work ethic have brought them to this point. They practiced in heat, snow, wind and rain. They juggled the demands of high school (and college) classes while training together. Every player on this team has a high school GPA over 3.0. We have valedictorians and accomplished artists on this team. We have award-winning high school basketball players and track & field athletes on this team. They managed these sports while they continued their soccer journey with 3RSC. Most importantly, we have upstanding human beings on this team. These young women care for one another. One player's success is a success for all of them. They hold each other up when they start to stumble. They laugh together. They cry together. This team's chemistry on and off the pitch is nothing short of inspiring.
They earned this spot at Nationals and they need the help of their community to get them there. With a three-week window between Regionals and Nationals, cross-country airfare is at a premium price. They need to cover hotel and ground transportation expenses for their week in Orlando. And since playing 90-minutes of soccer burns a great deal of calories, they will need to feed their bodies well. Every cent of financial support raised will be used to offset these expenses. All assistance is deeply appreciated.
On behalf of every young woman on 3RSC G03/04 Black, thank you for your kindness and support!