Local soccer team Three Rivers 98 Black heading to nationals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local soccer team Three Rivers 98 Black heading to national tournament

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PASCO, Wash - They represent seven different high schools in and around the Tri-Cities area, but there's only one Three Rivers 98 Black team. It's a soccer club made up of incoming freshman girls who are embarking on a road trip no team from Tri-Cities ever has. Chad Bodnar has been coaching soccer at various levels for 14 years. He's the men's and women's coach at Walla Walla. On top of that he coaches the Three Rivers 98 Black girls. The team is head to the U.S. Soccer Club National Cup this week.

"It's a great group because they're athletic and they like to learn. And I think they're very competitive and I think any good team is going to have that drive and that competitiveness and this group definitely has that," said Bodnar.

The girls of 98 Black will enter group play against two teams from Indiana and one from Illinois. The players say they rely on a steady coaching presence.

"They're not afraid to tell us when to step it up, which I think we've needed to hear. And we needed to hear it during Regionals. And Chad definitely, he told us we needed to step it up and we did it," said team member McKaley Goffard.

Even though the core of the team has been close-knit for some time, there have been recent additions. But players say that hasn't affected the team's cohesion.

"We usually have team bondings, and we have a girl from Prosser and Grandview. We just get to know each other and we've been playing with each other for a really long time and it just starts to click. And when we do click we are really successful as a team," said team member Haley Thomas.

The team leaves for Aurora, Colorado on Wednesday and begins play on Thursday.