A Kansas City high school is ranked No. 1 in the nation in girls soccer, according to USA Today, and the ranking is well-deserved.
The undefeated Notre Dame de Sion Storm has won 50 of their last 51 matches.
While on the field, it does not take long for this Kansas City powerhouse to establish their dominance, creating numerous scoring chances. And, they'll breakthrough with this goal by leading scorer Gabby Grimaldi.
Grimaldi is the most explosive player on the field. She will score two goals and set up a third. But, she's not even the most decorated player on the Storm.
This title belongs to goalkeeper Afton Fennewald, who has racked up a state record 44 shutouts.
"You couldn't tell today because her defense is that great too. So, I don't know if she technically registered a save or not," Matt Darby said.
While the shutout record is nice, it is not her focus.
"It's in the back of my mind sometimes, but, really, I just want to come out here and win and have a chance to save it again," Fennewald said.
But Sion dominance is not built on talent alone. It also comes from hard work and tradition.
"You want to work hard for teams in the past and want to keep the tradition alive," Fennewald said.
"When they come to Sion, they come for a reason. They want to be pushed and driven. They want to be held accountable. I think our girls thrive under pressure," Darby said.
The Storm is trying to reach a fourth straight state championship game. These seniors won titles as freshmen and sophomores, only to see their two-time defender of the year go down with a knee injury in last year's semifinals, leading to a championship game loss. So, these young ladies are on a mission.
"It's a lot of pressure, but it's pressure we can handle," Meghan Frerking said.
They are fast and talented but what stands out the most is how hard they play and how they play as a team.
"They have so much fun together, but they're competitive. They bring out a very healthy competitiveness in each other. They work hard, but they have so much fun together," Katie Murphy said.
"'I think some of it is definitely talent, and I think a lot of it is just hard work and wanting to win, having the drive to always play our best," Grimaldi said.
On Saturday, the Storm will play nationally ranked Kearney that stands 21-1. It promises to be something special.
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