Only after winning the semifinal game of the Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League state middle school girls’ soccer tournament on April 15 in Round Rock did Coach Allison Fitts and her Founders Classical Academy Corinth team learn they had beaten defending champion ILT College Station.
“We had no idea. We didn’t realize it,” Fitts said. “I think that got the girls excited. We also found out we were the only team out of the four that went that wasn’t even in that tournament last year.
“Once I told them that, people were pulling me aside asking me where we were from. We definitely were the underdogs. Without a doubt, nobody knew what we had in store and what we could bring. I told them to use that to light a fire.”
Fitts’ inspirational speech certainly carried over to the title game that afternoon in a 2-0 victory over Rising Scholars Academy to earn the school’s first soccer title.
“We just played the same way we had played all season,” Fitts said. “I think the girls were super excited. A lot of them stayed the night before. It was a new environment.”
Eighth-grader Maddie Peterman scored both goals in the title match – one on a penalty kick, the other on a regular shot and both in the first half. She also had two of the four in the semifinal with Zoey Kennedy, a sixth grader, and eighth-grader Paige Fisher having the others.
Founders Classic Academy Corinth advanced to state by beating ILT Grand Prairie 4-0 and Uplift North Hills in the regionals in Fort Worth the week before.
The team which finished with 21 players went 14-0 and gave up only three goals all year. Team members came from Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, Shady Shores, Lantana, Denton, Little Elm, and Dallas.
“It was just the right mix of girls, the right chemistry, the right experience level. We had a lot of girls who currently play outside of school in clubs and such and just have pure talent,” Fitts said. “We had girls who had never played before but were willing to step up. Specifically, my goalkeeper (Tyco Saucedo) was a basketball player who said she’d play.”
Fitts was a center-midfielder at Marcus High School through 2011 and an outside defender at Texas Women’s University where in 2015 she earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Dietetics and an EMBA. She also competed with the Sting Soccer Club for several years.
After serving as a volunteer coach her first two years at Founders Classical Academy, Fitts was paid for her work as she launched the girls’ high school soccer team. She credits athletic director Daniel Dobson for understanding her value.
Fitts and husband Ryan live in Denton with their two sons – Lionel (20 months) and William (4½). Her full-time job is as the owner of a wedding floral arrangement business.