Six former Space Coast United players were a part of the Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team that won the National Junior College Athletics Associations (NJCAA) National Championship in November.
Kailey Dunne, Jessica DeBiasse, Lydia Carroll, Jessica Martin, Claudia Nieves and Logan Humbert will forever be able to call themselves national champions after EFSC defeated two-time defending champion Tyler (TX) Junior College 1-0 on Nov. 20.
Tyler had won 52 games prior to the match, according to a release from EFSC.
It was the school’s first athletic national championship since 1991, also according to the release.
DeBiasse, Carroll and Martin were defenders on a team that conceded just a single goal in the four game NJCAA national tournament. Head coach Scott Carswell also noted that the team gave up just seven goals in 15 games overall and just “a couple goals in the run of play.”
DeBiasse, who also played at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School, scored a goal in the second game of the tournament, a 2-0 win over Hill (TX), that propelled the team to the national semifinal, where EFSC defeated Seminole State (OK) College 3-0 to advance to the final. DeBiasse’s goal against Hill was especially important given that EFSC had to win the game by two goals to advance following an opening match defeat to Rose State (OK) College.
“I chose Eastern Florida State because my family is in Melbourne, I grew up in Melbourne and all of my friends are local so it was an ideal spot for me,” said DeBiasse in an e-mail through an EFSC spokesperson. “….It was really nice to be able to win a national title at Daytona State College, being able to have my family and friends all there to support and cheer me on gave me that extra edge to compete against some of the best teams in the nation.”
Carroll, also via e-mail through an EFSC spokesperson, expressed her excitement regarding the team’s accomplishments.
“It’s really surreal, when you are a young kid you don’t imagine being able to even have an opportunity to do something this big in your home town,” said Carroll, who also played at Melbourne Central Catholic High School. “We played all of these amazing teams from all over the country….It was nice to build another family on top of the one I already have here in Melbourne.”
The team’s achievement was so impressive that the club got a police escort for at least a portion of the trip back from Daytona following the win.
“It was super exciting,” said Carswell. “To be coming down the highway, a police car in front, a police car in back. It was really exciting for the girls. I think they had a lot of fun with it.”