Soccer player

Rocky Mountain High Football Players Club Team Wins National Title

Fiona Jenkins switched club football programs two years ago, hoping to increase her exposure to top college programs.

His move to the Centennial-based Real Colorado program did more than that, though.

He paired her with a group of talented girls who won a national youth football championship on Monday.

Jenkins, a future Rocky Mountain High School senior, and her National Under-17 teammates Real Colorado beat the Beach Futbol Club of Torrance, Calif., 3-1 to win the National League title elite clubs in the championship tournament. in Richmond, Virginia.

Real Colorado scored the first two goals to take a 2-0 halftime lead and led 3-0 before allowing Beach FC’s only goal.

Team chemistry is what separates the Real Colorado National from its opponents, Jenkins said. The best part of winning the national championship, she said, was the opportunity to go to lunch afterwards with her teammates and coaches to celebrate.

“Being a national champion with a random team would obviously be something, but being with my team is so much better,” Jenkins said. “To experience this with my best friends is the best feeling in the world.”

They enjoy spending time together, not just during their training sessions four to five days a week in the fields of Englewood or Highlands Ranch. During ECNL regular season games, they play throughout the region several weekends a month for most of the year.

“Most of them, all of them actually, I can call my best friends,” she said. “Everyone is doing their job very well on the pitch. We support each other on and off the pitch, so I think the team culture is the biggest factor that differentiates us from other teams.

Jenkins is Fort Collins’ only player on the Real Colorado national team. She usually meets teammates in Broomfield to drive to carpool practices, she said.

Players of the Real Colorado National women's under-17 soccer team celebrate Monday after winning the Elite Club National League national championship in Richmond, Virginia.

Previously, she played on an ECNL Colorado Rapids team with her Rocky Mountain High teammate Jace Holley, who was part of a Rapids Under-16 team that lost its ECNL National Championship game on Monday 1-0 to a team from St. Louis.

“We were actually playing right next to each other,” Jenkins said. “I gave him a big hug before the game.”

At Rocky Mountain, Jenkins has played just about every position on the court the past three seasons.

With the Real Colorado National, she helps anchor the defense from her outside back position. She started and played all 90 minutes of Monday’s title match.

Real Colorado opened play in the eight-team national tournament on Friday, playing a 2-2 tie with Solar Soccer Club of Allen, Texas, then beat Sporting Blue Valley of Overland, Kansas 5-0 on Saturday .

That 5-0 victory was a revelation, Jenkins said, proving to her and her teammates that they were good enough to win it all. Real Colorado had to fight their way through a 44-team nationwide field two weeks earlier in Redmond, Wash., to earn their place in the final eight.

“I think I was more emotional back then,” Jenkins said. “We played in Seattle before that in the playoffs and it was more surreal back then because it seemed like such a reach to get here.

“But once we were here it felt like we just had to unlock our game.”

They did it. And now they are national champions.

Kelly Lyell reports on CSU, high school, and other local sports and topics of interest to Colorado. Contact him at [email protected]follow him on Twitter @KellyLyell and find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KellyLyell.news.