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A chance opportunity to play ‘a couple of games’ for the team that beat their Wilson Youth Soccer Association team turned into the ultimate reward for Eynde Frazier and Allexis Taylor.
The girls were guest players on the Greensboro United Soccer Association Navy Capture that won the U.S. Youth Soccer Association’s U15 Girls President’s Cup national championship in July 2012. The team was inducted into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame’s National Champions Hall of Honor during its annual induction ceremony Saturday in Winston-Salem.
“We were asked to be guest players for a couple of games and then ended up going all the way and helping them win,” said Taylor, who is now a student at UNC Greensboro. “It’s just a great feeling. It’s still a great feeling! It’s a big accomplishment.”
But Taylor and Frazier weren’t just along for the ride. The duo, who would be teammates at Hunt High for the next three years, combined for six of GUSA Navy’s eight goals in the four matches at the national championships in Sacramento, Calif. Each scored a goal in the Capture’s 2-1 overtime win in the championship game with Frazier assisting on Taylor’s decisive goal in OT.
The GUSA Navy team was honored along with the Duke University men’s soccer program as inductees in the National Champions Hall of Honor. The N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame’s 22nd induction class was Susan Ellis, a member of North Carolina’s first three NCAA women’s soccer championship teams; John Kerr Jr., a two-time All-American at Duke and former U.S. Men’s National Team player and current Duke men’s head coach, and Sandra Serafini, a North Carolina resident and longtime referee for the U.S. Soccer Federation.
To be part of such elite company thrilled Frazier, who is a senior at Western Carolina University, where she played for the last four seasons.
“I was shocked and astounded that we would be in such a prestigious organization and in the hall of fame with members of the Duke national championship teams and then famous coaches and referees who have done countless acts through the soccer industry,” Frazier said.
The pair’s path to the hall of fame began with a loss. Taylor and Frazier were teammates on the WYSA’s ‘96 Explosion that lost to in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association’s U15 Girls Kepner Cup semifinals in the fall of 2011. When GUSA Navy lost a couple of players due to injury, Frazier and Taylor were asked by head coach Julie Isley to join the team for the Kepner Cup championship in the spring of 2012, when Frazier was a freshman at Hunt and Taylor was in ninth grade at Fike.
“Julie, the coach, asked the players what they wanted to do with those spots and the girls said, ‘We want Eynde and Allexis from Wilson to come play with us,’” Frazier said.
Suffice to say, it was a good decision. Frazier led the GUSA Navy with four goals and two assists in its run to the Region III championship, which was held in Greensboro, including the lone goal in its 1-0 victory over the Dallas Texans in the championship game. Taylor tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the semifinals, and produced three assists in regional play.
What could have been a couple matches in Greensboro turned into a trip of a lifetime to California.
“We were really excited for them to have us, honestly,” Taylor said. “It was a great chance that we didn’t get since we did lose to them when we were playing (for WYSA). We thought we were going to go all the way and we had goals to try to get to California as well. But, yeah, I think we were just excited that they picked us to go along and help them out.”
In Sacramento, Taylor emerged as the GUSA Navy’s top offensive threat with four goals and an assist while Frazier scored two and had a team-high three assists. Frazier scored the team’s first goal in the championship match, which was a rematch of the Region III final against the Dallas Texans, and then, after Greensboro went a player down due to a red card, provided the assist on Taylor’s game-winning goal in OT. Taylor was named the MVP of the championship tournament.
Now their accomplishments as part of the GUSA Navy will live on in the N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame.
“I was shocked when I first found out,” said Taylor. “I never expected anything like this to happen. At least not now, because I’m only 22, so that’s kind of big, but I was pretty excited!”