The LSC Elite Girls Academy Bravo soccer team has one last shot at winning a national championship.
The under-19 squad opens play at the USYS national tournament in Overland Park, Kan., at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday against the So Cal Blues from San Diego.
They’ll take on the NASA 12 Elite of Atlanta at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and close pool play at 9:30 a.m. Friday against the FC Penn Strikers of eastern Pennsylvania.
The two teams with the highest point totals will play for the title at 10 a.m. Sunday. Each team gets three points for a win, one point for a tie.
“The team that wants to end their time together as champions will probably win it,” Bravo coach Marcus Kelcher said. “A lucky bounce for you or against you will be the difference.”
Bravo, with many players who started together at the age of 9, first made it to nationals in 2008, finishing third. They won state and Region II titles to advance.
Kelcher brought up Maddie Elliston (Omaha Marian, Penn State), Liz Bartels (Omaha Skutt, Marquette) and Ashley Malloy (Skutt) from a younger team to strengthen the squad. About half of the lineup had to return to college for summer classes and missed practices, but Kelcher said everyone at nationals is probably in the same boat. Those players flew in Sunday.
Bravo still will be more than ready to take on the country’s best players, most of them from major college programs.
Kelcher said winning a title would be a dream come true.
“No one has ever won a national championship from Nebraska, boys or girls,” Kelcher said. “Hopefully, we can win Nebraska’s first national championship.”
Bravo roster: Ava Ambrose, Omaha Marian, Miami; Liz Bartels, Omaha Skutt, Marquette; Maddie Elliston, Marian, Penn State; Alyssa Flannery, Millard North, Nebraska; Caroline Flynn, Lincoln Southwest, Nebraska; Corinne Harris, Chicago, Michigan; Jill Kieffer, Southwest, Northwest Missouri State; Alissa Kohmetscher, Lincoln Southeast, Creighton; Jennifer Korn, Naperville, Ill., Northwestern; Ashley Malloy, Omaha Skutt; Alex Massey, Kearney, Mo., Auburn; Mia McAleer, Ralston, Iowa State; Karlie Mueller, Sioux Falls, S.D., Texas A&M; Paige Nielsen, Lincoln Southeast, North Carolina; Emily Nulty, Marian, Northern Illinois; Jaylyn Odermann, Millard North, Nebraska; Marquette Pick, Millard North, Iowa State; Chelsi Rohloff, Papillion-La Vista, UNO; Taylor Saucier, Marian, Texas A&M; Erin Stewart, Marian, Missouri State; Jackie Tondl, Marian, Texas A&M; Hannah Wampler, Lincoln Southeast, UNO.