The South Dakota United U16 Dynamo soccer team went to Denver on a mission to be repeat as National Champions. After Monday morning’s game against Dallas Renegade SC , it is now mission accomplished!
The Renegades won their bracket in pool play and handled a tough Florida Kraze team 2-0 in the semifinals, so Dynamo knew they faced a challenging matchup. Dynamo started slow and the challenge only got stiffer when two valuable starters left the field injured in the game’s first 15 minutes. Playmaking midfielder Emerson Perrin (Minot, ND) was knocked out of the game for concussion protocol and Pierre’s Gracelyn Taylor, who anchors the defensive backline aggravated an ankle injury in the games early moments. Fortunately Taylor was able to return to the game later.
Shortly after the mandatory water break at the midway point of the first half, Dynamo’s multiple offensive weapons started to gain traction and create chances. The break-through came 24 minutes in as Cena Carlson (Gillette, WY) picked up a loose ball on the left wing and drove to the goal. Her left-foot rocket was knocked away by the diving keeper, but Pierre’s Ryann Barry crashed hard on the back post to pound the rebound home and give Dynamo the first goal of the game. About 5 minutes later, midfielder Addison Massey (Bismarck, ND) drew a foul to give Dynamo’s free-kick artist Maddie Donavan (Spearfish) a chance. She hammered a kick off the crossbar and once again, it rebounded to a hard crashing Barry who volleyed it off the bounce to give Dynamo the all-important second goal.
Shortly after halftime, with the Renegades pushing hard, Dynamo keeper Morgyn Brug (Rapid City) made a huge save and the Dynamo defense cleared the loose ball for a momentum turning play. With 23 minutes left in the game, Aberdeen’s Kaylin Poppen pounced on a loose ball 25 yards in front of the net and one timed it to the upper corner and Dynamo had a 3-0 lead. Barry would ice the game in the last 10 minutes. Carlson sent a powerful header deep down the left side and Barry outraced the Renegade keeper to the ball at the goal line before dribbling along the goal line and passing the ball into the empty net. Just two minutes later, Maicee Burke (Minot, ND) found Barry with a long cross to the deep left corner. Barry gathered and put a bending ball into the far side of the goal for her fourth goal of the game.
The SDU Dynamo team dominated at all levels of play during the tournament. Brug and the defensive line of Brianna Sargent, Taylor and Ireland Templeton gave up only 2 goals in five games. The midfielders of Donavan, Poppen, Payton Whitt (Gillette, WY), and Perrin dominated possession and created scoring for themselves and their teammates throughout the tournament, and the multi-headed offensive monster of Carlson, Deshani Peters (Aberdeen), Burke, Massey, Grace Richter (Pierre), and Barry took advantage as the team racked up 30 goals in the tournaments 5 games.