Cressy Helps Eagles Capture National Championship

July 25, 2010


Kansas junior Emily Cressy recorded an assist on the game-winning goal Sunday as the Eagles Soccer Club earned their third national championship with a 2-1 triumph over the Arizona Rush in the U.S. National Women’s U-23 Cup final at the Overland Park Soccer Complex.

Cressy, one of seven members of the Eagles SC to participate in all three championships, enjoyed a big tournament with three goals and an assist to help her team to victories in all four their matches.

In the championship contest Sunday, Cressy played a ball from the top of the box to the near side where teammate Lindsay Bullock cut in and fired a shot past the keeper midway through the second half.

“Our coach (Vince Thomas) told us all weekend that we were trying to make history,” Cressy said. “I think it just motivated us and helped us get pumped up. We played really well all weekend.”

Cressy’s Eagles became just the second team to win three national titles in the 31-year history of USA Youth and Adult Soccer Championships. The Eagles SC previously won national championships in 2004 with the U-14 age group and 2007 in the U-17 division, where Cressy was the Golden Boot winner – being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tourney.

The only other club team to win three national championships was the Colorado Rush (Littleton, Colo.), which won three consecutive titles (1999-2001), a decade ago.

The final between the two clubs featured three current Jayhawks in Cressy for the Eagles as well as senior Erin Ellefson and sophomore Whitney Berry for the Arizona Rush. Both Ellefson and Berry were picked up by the Arizona-based club for the weekend.

“It was just weird to see them on another team,” Cressy said. “The whole weekend Elf (Erin Ellefson), Whit (Whitney Berry) and I were texting each other and asking if we had won, because we knew it would be fun to play against each other.”

Berry and Ellefson helped the Rush win their three pool play matches Friday and Saturday, and hold onto a 1-0 triumph over Scott Gallagher (Mo.) Sunday morning – in a match that was postponed from Saturday due to lightning and darkness – to advance to the finals.

“Although, I didn’t know many of the girls (on my team), it was just a great experience this weekend,” Ellefson said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to prepare for our upcoming season. And even though we didn’t win, it was fun to play with (Whitney) and against Emily.”

All three Jayhawks will report back to campus with the rest of the team on Aug. 3. KU’s first action of the 2010 season will be on Sunday, Aug. 15 with an exhibition match against Creighton at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex at 1 p.m.