FC DALLAS CROWNED FIRST U-15 GIRLS' ACADEMY CHAMPION WITH 2-0 WIN OVER LEGENDS FC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 11, 2018) - Goals from Jaedyn Shaw and Riley Baker propelled FC Dallas to clinch the first-ever U-15 Girls' Academy Championship on Wednesday afternoon. The championship marks the fifth title for FC Dallas, as the club's Boys' Academy program captured national crowns in 2012 (U-18/19), 2015 (U-15/16) and 2016 (U-15/16 and U-18/19).

As temperatures reached upwards of 103 degrees at Swope Soccer Village, the first Girls' U-15 Academy Championship required Legends FC and FC Dallas to leave everything on the field. In the end, a world-class strike from Shaw, a volley finish from Baker and a stout defensive effort wrote FC Dallas into the history books.

The victory continues a player development legacy for a club vaunted for its success on the Boys' side. In its championship run, the Girls' squad showed the same heart and determination that the nation has become accustomed to seeing from players who don the FCD crest.

"There's a phenomenal investment by ownership and by our coaching staff, not just on the girls' side, but on the boys' side as well, into every single athlete," FC Dallas head coach Matthew Grubb said. "Whether it's facilities or full-time physiology and goalkeeper trainers, we have resources that we pour into these girls that no one else in the country really has. Our ownership stakes a large financial claim and investment in that. It really makes it easy when you have all the tools and all the resources and all the knowledge that we do. And there's a lot of sharing across programs, from the boys to the girls."

Entering Wednesday's game as the postseason's No. 2 overall seed, Dallas had its hands full early with No. 13 Legends FC. Led by speedster Velize King, who netted a pair of goals during the California club's 3-0 semifinal win over Dallas Texans on Monday, Legends found their groove early and often, testing FC Dallas goalkeeper Jordyn Gunnarson from all over the field.

But Dallas was able to respond to the SoCal squad's offensive pressure up the flanks. The Frontier Division champs found the counter they needed to break the deadlock in the 34th minute.

With room to operate, midfielder Grainne O'Casey slipped an entry pass in for Shaw. From the top left of the box, she turned to her right and cracked a shot straight to the top right corner of the net. Legends 'keeper Hannah Arneson made every effort to get a hand on the strike, but the placement was perfect to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead.

"Everything that I've trained for on a daily basis, it just comes out in me (in big games)", said Shaw, who has also scored while playing up with FC Dallas' U-18/19 age group. "I was born for this opportunity."

Twenty-two minutes later, the foot of Baker gave Dallas some much needed breathing room. After her teammates won a pair of aerial challenges, FCD forward Morganne Eikelbarner gathered the ball from the left end of the midfield line and sent through a brilliant long pass over the defense and near the top right of the penalty box. It landed perfectly ahead of Baker, who one-timed a volley to the far post, across the face of Arneson and into the net.

Down but not out, Legends continued to rally. In the 74th minute, King nearly tapped in a loose ball to the cut the deficit in half. Less than two minutes later, King once again put herself in scoring position. Off of a cross from Lexie Yela, King got a foot on the ball, but her unlucky strike clanged off the post and went out-of-bounds. Legends' last-ditch efforts kept the final minutes interesting, but Dallas held strong and celebrated as champion after the final whistle blew.

"This is such a huge honor," Shaw added. "This team that I play with is such an amazing group of girls. I just love them so much. Everybody works so hard. We play as a team and do everything that we can to be the best that we can be."