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Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks Girls 96-97 Elite going for third National Championship Title

The Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks will be defending their title in Tulsa from July 20-26 after qualifying in March through National League play in North Carolina and Las Vegas. Courtesy photo
The Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks will be defending their title in Tulsa from July 20-26 after qualifying in March through National League play in North Carolina and Las Vegas. Courtesy photo

Since 2011, the DMCV Sharks have taken their level of soccer to the top by winning back-to-back U.S. Youth National Championships in 2013 and 2014. The Sharks will defend their title in Tulsa from July 20-26 after qualifying in March through National League play in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team and their third World Cup Championship have inspired the Sharks for many years, though team members were only 2 and 3 years old when the U.S. won its last World Cup in 1999. In 2011, the Sharks were watching the finals while traveling to Sweden to play in the Gothia Cup. The Sharks lost in PKs in the semifinals of that cup, so they shared the feeling of defeat with the U.S. women.

The development of their soccer skills on and off the field comes from Coach Felicia Kappes. She has taught them to work hard, believe in themselves, be mentally tough enough to compete on the national stage and be ready to move to the next level at college.

“This team, simply put, is extremely special. They embody all that is right in competitive youth soccer,” she said in a recent interview with GoalNation.

“They play this sport for all the right reasons and approach this game and their opponents with respect and sportsmanship. We have discussed all along the way that we are constantly learning valuable life lessons on and off the field. To see them grow up into incredible young women from little girls who truly love being together has been a blessing for me and for the DMCV Sharks Club.”

The team, Kappes added, is so fortunate to have won not just one but two National Championships, “so we have experience to draw from. ... I know this team will compete every minute of every game, since this is their last journey together, so I look forward to Oklahoma this summer.”

Just after the USA world Cup win, Kappes was told by a friend that her girls are the embodiment of the U.S. team at the club level. “These young ladies represent the best of youth soccer. I am so incredibly proud of them and all they have accomplished but I’m even more proud by how they did it and the incredible qualities they possess. I will forever feel blessed to have coached these extraordinary young women,” replied Kappes.

Shannon MacMillan, director of competitive coaches for DMCV Sharks Soccer Club and a member of the 1999 World Cup Champion team as well the 1996 Olympic Gold medal team, commented, “The on-field success the girls have experienced is a culmination of hard work, sacrifice and buying into the team concept. For years, the girls have stuck together, and with the guidance of Felicia, have worked twice as hard as others.

“One of the best aspects about this team is that they are all incredible, confident young women off the field as well. There is zero doubt that each and every player in this team will go on to be successful leaders in college and wherever they settle after. This team truly embodies the spirit of what the Sharks stand for and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I am thankful for the example they have set and the inspiration they have given the younger players in the Sharks organization!”

Good luck to Lili, Kristen, Crystal, Dominique, Riley, Huli, Brooklyn, Adrianna, Hailey, Hannah, Zisi, Shelby, Melissa, Gianna, Natalie, Jordie, Sam, Angel and Sydney at Nationals as they compete for their final time together as the DMCV Sharks G96-97 Elite team.

Games will be played at the Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Okla., at 11:30 a.m. July 21 against Beadling Gunners, Pa.; at 7:30 a.m. July 22 against Louisiana Fire Navy, La.; and 11:30 a.m. July 23 against Carlsbad Elite, with the top two teams in the semifinals at 6 a.m. July 25 and finals at 8:20 a.m. July 26.

Find more than 80 live broadcasts of games, daily highlights, photos and results from the US Youth Soccer National Championships at https://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.


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