By Garth Shanklin
Three Clermont County soccer stars brought home a national championships earlier this month, as the Futsal Divas won the US Youth Futsal Girls U17-U18 title.
Jordan Riffle, Kaya Vogt and Jaelynn Dodson represented Clermont County in the event. The Divas finished 2-0 in pool play and outscored their opponents 16-4.
In the semifinals, the Futsal Divas defeated KCSG Pre-Academy 7-2, earning a rematch with Spotsy Premier, a team they had defeated 10-2 in pool play.
The Divas held serve, winning the game 5-2 to clinch the title.
Jeremy Dodson, Jaelynn’s father and a coach on the team, said it was rewarding for the team to bring home the championship having lost the title two years ago in similar fashion
“It was a team we beat on the first night and they battled back to play us in the finals and we just couldn’t get it don,” Dodson said of the championship game two years ago. “It’s challenging to beat the same team twice in a weekend.
It was a little uneasy, having to play the same team. It took me back to two years ago, but the girls did a good job.”
Dodson said the players left an impression on coaches and scouts alike at the tournament.
“Multiple coaches came up to me after games and just kind of questioned how long the girls have been playing together, how many nights we train,” Dodson said. “There were a couple different college recruiters that approached me after games and had interest in the girls…It was definitely eye-opening for a lot of the futsal clubs when they played us…some of the things the girls were doing out there, they weren’t used to seeing.”
The victory marked the end of a journey that spanned roughly a decade, and for the players to end that journey on top meant a lot to Dodson.
“The girls have been on this journey for quite some time, so to see them finally accomplish something they have worked hard for is very rewarding,” Dodson said.
In addition to the West Clermont trio, the Divas’ roster consisted of Highlands’ Lauren Deckert, Simon Kenton’s Cayla Coleman, Anderson’s Emily Duffey, and Barrington’s Korbin Albert, who is from Chicago.
The group was sponsored by Byrider, who helped sponsor uniforms and other expenses. Dodson, a Byrider employee, thanked them for their support.