A group of Maryland girls soccer players just wanted their own club. Now they’re national champions.

Occasionally, boys would complain that there were girls starting over them because, in their view, girls weren’t supposed to best them in sports, Canoles said.

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As the referee blew the final whistle in the girls under-18 title game at the United States Youth Soccer National Championships on July 28, Phoebe Canoles took off toward Alyssa Minnick. On the last day Premier Navy 2001 was a team, on the last day of the Premier Soccer Club’s existence and on the last day they would be teammates in a 12-year career together, Canoles and Minnick finally accomplished their goal of winning a national championship.

The entire team was crying and piling on each other on that emotional Sunday in Overland Park, Kansas. But for Canoles and Minnick, the two remaining players of the five girls who began their careers on a boys team before forming an elite soccer club of their own, this win was even more special.

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This generation of Maryland field hockey players want to start another Golden Age

Forward Linnea Gonzales beats a defender during Maryland field hockey’s 3-1 win over Rutgers at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex on Oct. 5, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

Before Linnea Gonzales became the Big Ten Player of the Year for her team-high 33 points, the senior forward would line up after Maryland field hockey games, waiting for autographs from players she idolized, like Katie O’Donnell.

And when she became a ball girl, Gonzales remembers players yelling if she didn’t get the ball back quickly enough. She was impressed with how locked-in the Terps were.

Author: Lila Bromberg
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