THE 2008 AZTEC girls’ soccer team accepts their medals and trophy as National Champions in Denver on July 20. (Courtesy Photos)


DENVER, CO. — Sophie McElligott and Isabella Strong, rising 8th graders at Melrose Middle School, completed a successful trip to Denver, Colorado from July 16 to July 20 as they brought home the under 13 girls’ National Cup Soccer Championship – US club soccer’s overall national championship.

McElligott plays attacking center midfield and Strong plays outside back for the 2008 Aztec Impact team based on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The team had an excellent spring season finishing with a record of 19-0-2 including a win at the New England Regional Cup back in early June.

MELROSE MIDDLE Schoolers Sophie McElligott (left) and Isabella Strong (right) won a national championship with Aztec in Denver on July 20 by beating a team from Hawaii 1-0.

This Cup victory qualified the team to participate in the 20th annual National Cup in Commerce City, Colorado. Teams must win a regional or state cup championship in order to qualify for the National Cup.

Aztec jumped out to a strong start completing the group stage of the tournament 3-0 including a 2-1 win over Oregon in which McElligott scored an exciting game-winning goal on the final play; a 5-0 win over Oklahoma and a 2-1 win over Colorado.

This excellent group stage showing allowed Aztec to advance to the semifinals against a strong Ohio team, which also finished group play 3-0. Aztec played flawless soccer en route to a 3-0 win and a trip to the finals against the top seeded team from Hawaii.

The finals was an intense matchup with Aztec scoring a goal in the opening half and holding on for an exciting 1-0 victory – representing the Aztec club’s first ever National Championship.

Congratulations to Sophie and Bella representing Melrose well and bringing home a National Championship.