Most athletes that play on good teams have a chance to win a league title.
In the OHSAA a sectional title or a district title is a legit goal.
Getting through the regionals and winning at state is the ultimate.
Evergreen’s Raegan Radel and her Pacesetter U-15 Club Soccer Team went one better by winning the United States Club Soccer’s National Cup. Her team went 3-0 in pool play, then beat Oklahoma Energy FC 4-1, before shutting out FC COPA out of New Jersey in the title game, 3-0.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity really,” said Radel. “After the whistle blew (to end the win over COPA in the final), it was like ‘wait did we actually do that’?
“We had a great team with a lot of great players.”
The team the Viking sophomore-to-be made primarily consists of D-I soccer powers in the Toledo area — such as St. Ursula and Notre Dame.
However, Radel says the experience in winning a national championship will hopefully carry over to the Vikings’ efforts this fall.
“I just hope I can continue our program at Evergreen, win and keep growing. Bringing a national title to this community is really cool because not a lot of people have been given that kind of opportunity.”
Radel wasn’t the only Evergreen Viking playing at the national level as senior Sydney Woodring’s team also made it to the same tournament by winning at the state level.
Radel’s older sister, Paige, a senior at Evergreen, played on a team that fell just short of the National Cup.
“With the three of us: Paige, Sydney and I, we have a lot of high expectations that we would like to share with our team,” Radel explains. “We’d like to boost everyone and encourage everyone to get on the same level so that we can accomplish the goals that we set.”
Even though Woodring’s team didn’t advance past the pool play tournament, Evergreen girls coach Josh Radel believes the level of play that his girls played in this spring and summer can only help the Vikings have a successful fall.
“Absolutely, starting off with Sydney whose team was also out in Colorado (the site of the National Cup), they just got a couple bad breaks in the pool and didn’t move on. Then Paige’s team was very unlucky in the state championship game that would’ve pushed them out to Colorado, then Raegan’s team that pretty much dominated throughout the tournament, outscoring opponents 19-2. Having three high caliber players at Evergreen, you really just hope that everyone feeds off their energy, learn from them and hopefully bring a real positive attitude.
“Expectations are high for this group. They know they have to leave it all out on the field.”
The Vikings, winners of three straight OHSAA Division III sectional titles, embark on the 2021 season at Ottawa-Glandorf Aug. 21.
Raegan Radel, a sophomore-to-be at Evergreen this fall, plays in a game at the United States Club Soccer National Cup tournament held recently in Colorado. She was part of the U-15 girls soccer team at Pacesetter that won the National Cup title.