Solar Soccer Club won the 2018-2019 U16/17 Girls Development Academy National Championship on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over Lonestar SC in the final. Trinity Byars and Alexis Missimo scored for Solar on Thursday.
Solar, the club, became the first club to win a Boys Development Academy and Girls Development Academy National Championship in the same season.
For the girls side, Solar’s win was redemption from last season when the young squad came up short in the U18/19 title game against LAFC Slammers. This season, Solar’s squad was determined to claim the crown. The team from Dallas finished the season with a 37-1-1 record and an absurd plus 189 goal differential (220 goals scored, 31 goals against).
Trinity Byars, one of the holdovers from last year’s team, scored the opener for Solar on Thursday on one of the best strikes from distance from the season. Byars’ perfectly struck shot found the upper corner of the net for the first tally of the night. It was her 40th goal of the season.
Solar nearly doubled the lead minutes later with a shot from Alexis Missimo, another holdover from last year’s team, but Makenna Garcia made an incredible save to keep it a one-score game in the first half.
Missimo would not be denied twice though. She scored her goal on a long-range bomb. Byars provided the assist on Missimo’s tally. It was Missimo’s 64th goal of the year and Byars’ 39th assist of the campaign.
Solar went into the break with a two-goal advantage, and looked well on their way to the national title that had eluded them for the past two seasons.
Lonestar nearly got back in the game early in the second half when a shot from Jordan Doss hit off the post. The rebound fell kindly in the box, but the follow-up shot missed the frame of the goal.
Solar tried to add to the lead, but Garcia made a number of great saves in the second half. The crossbar and the post also denied Solar from finding the third goal in the game.
Solar’s ruthless and unrelenting style was on display in the 85th minute when center back Emily Jane (EmJ) Cox was in the attacking 18-yard box for a corner kick. Her header hit off the crossbar and was eventually cleared from danger. It was a perfect example of Solar’s quest for the next goal and determination to compete every second of the game.
Solar is bringing back the squad for next year and going to make a run at another title, likely in the U17 age group as Missimo, Byars, Cox, Quinn Cornog, Makhiya McDonald, and others are all 2003 birth years. It will be difficult for any group to replicate the season that Solar just accomplished, but the cornerstone pieces seem capable of putting something special again for another year.