With three years under their belt and on their last stretch as a team, Notts Forest FC couldn’t have ended on a better note than to earn their first and final championship, the 2017 Cal South Mayors Youngers Girls 2006 Championship to be more specific, along with their coach Ashlee Withington.
The group of 11-year-old girls had done an impeccable job throughout their State Cup campaign. The girls wrapped up in first place in Group A, earning 8-0 and 6-0 wins over Murrieta Surf and Slammers SC respectively, and it wouldn’t be until the Round of 32 where they would receive their first goal against.
Without a doubt, the girls worked hard for the entire tournament. But it would be in their very final match that they would be roughly tested, but the Notts Forest girls were able to defeat their fellow San Diego County foes Albion SC in the last minutes of second overtime to earn a 1-0 win and the championship.
“Albion is a great team, we’ve played them in the past in our last season,” recalled coach Withington. “Susie Cole, my left back, decided to just one-time it, the wind kind of carried it, ball went over the keeper’s head and it was a goal. The referee called the game two minutes later.”
For Coach Withington, winning the Cal South State Cup with this team meant a lot. Not only was the championship the fruit of all their hard work and dedication throughout the year, but also the best possible way to end a journey that would conclude her three-year tenure with Notts Forest.
“We’ve never been to State Cup finals, ever. I’ve never been to State Cup finals and this is my last year with them and [this] means a lot,” the Notts Forest coach said holding back tears.
“It’s teamwork,” she added. “They’re not all fantastic, but it takes teamwork to succeed with any team, with any sport and they all love each other.