skip navigation


By Tom Nevill, 09/14/18, 11:15AM CDT


Erin Flynn, Shaina Dudas, Jessica Siebers and Alyssa Siebers have played on the same club soccer team for a decade.

That run came to a glorious end on July 28. That foursome, with help from some of their friends, led the NSA Shock to the Under-19 title at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Flynn, a Benet graduate, scored a team-leading three goals over four games at nationals, tying for second most in the tournament. She and former Downers Grove North star Abby Swanson each scored a goal in the Shock’s 2-0 win over Utah FC 99 in the championship game.

“There is a core group of four of us that have played together ever since we were 8 years old,” Flynn said. “And then a lot of us have played together for five or six years.

“It was such a great experience to go out on top with the girls I’ve grown up playing with.”

Dudas and the Siebers twins all starred at Naperville North, which finished third at the Class 3A state finals in June. They were joined by Naperville North teammate Katelynn Buescher, Benet’s Maddie Becker and Mary Kate Hansen, Metea Valley’s Chesney Wargo and Sophia Senese, Neuqua Valley’s Kailey Serna and Naperville Central’s Sarah Scoles.

Other players on the roster included Naperville resident Kendra Pasquale, a forward who led St. Francis to the Class 2A state title this year, and Batavia’s Amy Ten Haken.

All played a role in the winning the national title, the first at the U-19 level for NSA. Flynn scored two goals and Pasquale added one in an opening 3-0 win over Texas Invictus SC, while Hansen scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over AFC Lightning from Georgia.

Dudas scored in a 1-1 tie with Utah in the final pool play game on July 26.

The rematch with Utah was a cliffhanger that required every ounce of energy in a scorching heat. Flynn gave the Shock a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute off a corner kick and Swanson scored 14 minutes later on a short rebound.

Flynn said Buescher, who like Pasquale is an Illinois recruit, played a big role in controlling the midfield. But the back line of Jessica Siebers, Serna, Ten Haken and Lyons’ Catherine Johnson and goalkeeper Isabella Alessio, who preps at Minooka, also was stellar.

“(Alessio) played amazingly the entire game, especially toward the end of the second half,” Flynn said. “We were able to hold them off.”

That was the plan.

“We just knew we were not going to give up,” Alyssa Siebers said. “We were not going to let them score because we played too hard for that.”

The win was a crowning achievement for a group of girls who consider themselves sisters.

“We are so close to each other,” Jessica Siebers said. “We know how we play together because a lot of us have played together for so long.

That made the postgame celebration bittersweet. The Siebers sisters and Dudas will play for Illinois State, while Flynn is headed to NCAA Division III Washington in St. Louis.

“As soon as the whistle blew at the end I think all of us were crying,” Alyssa Siebers said. “We were happy and sad because it was our last game together.

“It was such a great moment but it was also really hard for us.”

Yet the ending was more than they could have ever imagined when their careers began.

“We really just play for ourselves and our friends,” Jessica Siebers said. “Honestly, it was the best way to have ended.”

Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.