C-P's Lara qualifies for youth soccer tournament in Sweden

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

June 5, 2008 - COMO - Como-Pickton eighth-grader Lucy Lara has a chance to do something most junior high girls do not get the opportunity to do in their lifetime.

Lara has an opportunity to play in a soccer tournament in Sweden for the Gothia Cup the week of July 21-25 with her Sting Dallas Royal 94 select soccer team and is looking for sponsors.

The Gothia Cup is one of the world's most prestigious youth soccer tournaments and costs $50,000-to-$60,000 for the team to go to Sweden.

Lara said the team has a deadline of July 10 to see if they can come up with the money through sponsors and other fundraising events.

"I called my coach and asked him if we could give it a shot," Lara said, the daughter of Jose and Leonila Lara. "He said that we could. but if it didn't work we would give the money back or would try to go to another tournament. We are going to talk to the team and each girl would have to raise at least $5,000-to-$7,000."

The 17-member soccer team has members from Frisco, Mabank, Oakland and Como and has plans on doing car washes and other activities in order to come up with the cost of the trip.

"We are more like a family on this team, and we want to win," Lara said. "With this club team, we work on our shooting and our skills and make sure that we are a close-knit group because our coach (Don McElwee) is very family-oriented."

The team is currently ranked No. 7 in the country and finished with a record of 11-4-1 as the Lake Highlands Under-14 Girls Classic Grand Champions of Division I. They also were the Sereno Classic Finalists and the Spring Classic Invitational Champions. The team outscored their opponents 31-9 during the regular season.

The Royals recently competed in a tournament in Oregon at the 2008 Nike Manchester United Premier Cup and finished in fifth place which gave them the opportunity to play in Sweden.

"We really want to go on this trip and win the entire tournament," she said. "If we cannot do that, then we we want to get at least top 20. I would like to have fun if we get to go on the trip and to show people how awesome we are."

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