ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Scott Gallagher (SLSG) U16 Navy team defeated the Colorado Avalanche Youth Soccer Club to claim the Elite Clubs National League Championship.

A journey that included competitions in both Washington and Virginia, the road to a national championship was far from easy for this team, competing for both club and school programs throughout a long season. The payoff was well worth it, scoring a game-winning penalty shot to secure the national title, a moment SLSG defender Maison Smith won’t soon forget.

“We’ve been dreaming about this since, honestly, for years,” Smith said. “Just to see it come true, it doesn’t really feel real.”

Midfielder Grace Restovich played a pivotal role in the team’s success, serving as the team’s captain throughout the run as well. Despite believing in her team’s talent, Restovich understood character was what put her squad over the top in the end.

“That was the main thing, just trusting in eachother and in our coaching staff,” Restovich said. “Obviously, it led to [us becoming] National Champions.”

The Elite Clubs National League is recognized as one of the top youth leagues in the country, providing opportunities to compete at the highest level across a variety of age groups.

The U16 Navy teams plans to celebrate and relax throughout the rest of the month, eyeing a return to the pitch in early August.