The Carmel FC 2009 Girls Gold Club registered an impressive first earlier this month.
The girls under-12 team won the state title called the Presidents Cup, the top division, and became the first Carmel FC team of any gender and age group to win the top tier. Carmel FC beat Indy Premier 1-0 in overtime June 6. Bella Cueto got the winning goal.
“They believe in themselves, and they were willing to put in the work and effort to get to their goals,” said Mark Flanders, who served as co-head coach with Nikki Nace. “Because COVID-19 canceled the spring season, we started our training earlier in the summer of 2020 and we did a three-day camp as a group to begin the process. One thing this group elected to do was write down on paper their individual goals and team goals. They came up with a team motto that they wanted to carry with them through the season.”
The team motto was “One Team, One Dream.”
The two goals the girls wrote down was to win their division in the Indiana Soccer League, which they did, and the state title. The team finished with a 19-0-3 record.
The team won its bracket to advance to the June 5 semifinals. Carmel FC beat Northwest Lions 3-1 in the semifinals.
On the season, Carmel FC outscored its opponents 70 to 8. Cueto and Caroline Mosher were the team’s goalkeepers. They played one half every game.
“Nikki and myself have been coaching our daughters together since they were 5 years old,” Flanders said.
Nace’s daughter is Eleanor and Flanders’ daughter is Elise. The other two girls who have been on the same team since age 5 are Olivia Ada and Natalie Countryman. The first three years they were in the Carmel Dads’ Club recreation league.
Those four girls formed with other girls to form the Carmel FC team when they were 8. They have won 14 tournaments together in the last four years.