Mathias’ Trip To Argentina Was Amazing.
After trips to Mexico and Sweden failed to materialize, the U17s’ first big trip out of the country proved to be a positive experience.
The U.S. team had three games scheduled. They split the first two and the third was rained out.
Against Argentina’s U-20 national team, the U.S. U-17s came away a 4-1 winner with the Birmingham high school junior assisting on the first goal.
Against Argentina’s full senior team, which included some familiar faces from the U20s, Mathias gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in what would eventually be a 2-1 loss on a pair of controversial goals.
The goal was against Argentina’s senior team, which recently beat Brazil in an international friendly, was the result of a buildup that began with Mathis winning the ball at midfield and playing it back to a supporting defender.
Eventually, the ball, after being played between several players, was slotted through to her, and she beat the goalkeeper from inside the penalty area.”
“The trip was a lot more than I expected,” said the Oak Mountain HS junior. “The other girls and the coaches were amazing, and it proved that all of the hard work paid off.
“We controlled most of the first game even though we started a little slow and we were nervous. They were pretty good, but the full team was better.
“They (the senior team) were more organized.
Mathias felt that her team was better technically, but said that the Argentine players were individually skillful. They were also physical.
“They were physical, but we stood up to that,” she said. “We expected it.”
In their “down time” Mathias and her teammates were able to soak up the atmosphere and the experience of being in a new and different country. They also got a chance to see a top South American club in action.
“We got to see Boca Juniors play,” she said. “The stadium was packed and the atmosphere was just insane.”
While her Oak Mountain classmates begin to think about preseason practice for the upcoming high school season, Mathias will be involved in a January training camp with the U17s. She has another year at that level as she has played the last year up an age group.
She can’t play with the national team and high school soccer at the same time because Alabama high school rules prohibit out of school play during a high school season.
While high school soccer hasn’t been in the cards for Mathis, she does plan to play at the collegiate level and has made a verbal commitment to UNC Chapel Hill.
She plays club soccer for the Mountain Brook Angels, which is UNC alum Cat Reddick’s old club. She’s looking forward to taking her game to another level with the Tar Heels, and in time perhaps find herself on the field with Reddick with the U.S. WNT.
Time will tell!