AC United FC under-12 girls team win Champion of Champions

Best of the best: AC United Football Club's under-12 girls team celebrate their win in the Champion of Champions final against Lilli Pilli on Sunday at Valentine Sports Park. Picture: Football NSW
Best of the best: AC United Football Club's under-12 girls team celebrate their win in the Champion of Champions final against Lilli Pilli on Sunday at Valentine Sports Park. Picture: Football NSW

AC United FC under-12 girls team are officially the best of the best.

The Southern Districts premiers completed the double on Sunday with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win against Lilli Pilli in the Champion of Champions final on Sunday at Valentine Sports Park.

Lilli Pilli had two opportunities to seal the Championship, only to miss their last three penalties. AC United, who dominated for large parts of the contest, held their nerve from the spot to win 4-3 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1 after extra-time.

After a scoreless first half, Angelina Scamardella's long range effort gave AC United the lead only for them to concede a goal from the spot not long after to the Sutherland Shire side.

After a scoreless period of extra time, the game headed to penalties where goalkeeper Elisha Cassarino produced three vital saves to secure the win.

The win completes a magical season for the team and coaches Michael Herrera and Domenic Badolato.

Remarkably, the team didn't concede a goal in winning the under-12 division one competition. Not one consolation goal, defensive lapse or communication error.

In their 12 round games they scored 74 goals and let in zero. That's an average score of 6-0 on their way to winning the premiership by 17 points to qualify for the Champion of Champions.

There was no nerves in the finals defeated Chipping Norton 4-0 in the semi-final and again a few weeks later 7-0 in the grand final.

Their only loss came in the State Cup semi-finals and even then they didn't concede a goal (losing on penalties after dominating the match).

Their run to the Champion of Champions grand final was equally impressive defeating Highlands Soccer Association (4-0), Shellharbour Junior FC (6-0), Woongarrah Wildcats Football Club (2-1)and Kellyville Kolts (9-0). The goal conceded in the quarter- final was the first one against them in 176 days since they played their opening round game.

Continuity has been a big part of their success with 10 of the 13 girls having played together for the past four years. This is the first year they are playing in their right age group. Last year they lost the under-12s division one grand final playing a year above themselves.

"They are an amazing bunch of girls. We are privileged to coach these girls. A lot of these girls could have left to play at a higher level but they just enjoy playing together," Co-coach Micheal Herrera said earlier this year.

Southern Districts had three representatives at the 51st Champion of Champions Finals on Sunday.

Bonnyrigg FC ran into a classy Northbridge FC outfit in the under-16 girls final losing 7-1 with striker Olivia Kearney netting five goals in the rout.

Maya Prostran's goal from the spot reduced the deficit to 3-1 before the break but they couldn't bridge the gap after a period of dominance to start the second half. From there it was all Northbridge with Kearney netting a second-half hat-trick.

Kemps Creek's second-half comeback fell short in the under-17 boys final with Narellan Rangers Soccer Club winning 3-2.

Behind 3-0 at the break, the Tigers rallied with goals to Tony Giacona followed by an own goal but they couldn't find an equaliser against the Macarthur champions.

AC United under-12 girls team: Chiara Badolato, Elisha Cassarino, Olivia D' Alessandro, Rita Di Martino, Sophia Furia, Carisa Herrera, Ariana Ivastanin, Orshina Khosho, Ella King, Olivia Riquelme, Valentina Riquelme, Angelina Scamardella and Siena Vlahadamis. Coach: Micheal Herrera, Coach: Domenic Badolato, Goalkeeping coach: Chanise Jamhour and Manager: Silvana Scamardella.