The East Aurora High School Lady Tomcats Soccer team won the PepsiCo Showdown championship game at De Paul University on Sunday, April 23.
East Aurora reached the championship game by defeating Washington in the first round, Thornwood in the quarterfinals, and Shepard High School in the semifinals.
After winning their first three games in the Informed Choices Bracket of the tournament, East Aurora (the #14 seed) played Romeoville (#1 seed) in the championship game.
The game was scoreless after regulation. When a game is tied after regulation, kicks from the penalty kick mark are utilized to break a tie.
The Tomcats won 4-2 in penalty kicks, thanks to Paola Segundo, Jacklyn Cabrera, Jennifer Garcia and Nathalie Flores scoring shootout goals. Segudno (1 save) and Daysi Quinonez combined for 10 saves in net.
"We are really thankful for the opportunity of being part of this tournament," said Obed Mendoza, coach for East Aurora. "Not only for the games that are very competitive, but also for the recognition of the work our players do on top of training, school work and work to support the family income, they also do community service and they get recognize for it."
Principal Marina Kosak was especially proud of the girls. "It truly was a team effort throughout the whole tournament," said Kosak. "Our girls represented EA amazingly and I am so proud of their efforts on and off the field."
PepsiCo Challenge is the largest high school soccer tournament featuring nearly 80 Chicago-area high schools and 3,000 players.
Pepsico Showdown's goal is to bring high schools, players and coaches together to shine on and off the field, while offering everyone the opportunity to get out of their communities to see different areas and economic situations.
The East Aurora girls also did community service as part of the tournament. Team captains participated in different activities throughout area with other team captains as one team, as well as with the East Aurora team in their own community.