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UC soccer returns to roaring crowd after winning school's first national championship

CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) - With the championship trophy in hand, and the team's closest friends waiting for their arrival, the University of Charleston Golden Eagles had every reason to celebrate.

“Once you get your hands on this trophy, it means a lot. There are no words to describe the feeling,” sophomore goalkeeper Paulo Pita said.

"You wake up this morning with that same feeling and are still smiling. Now that I’ve had time to soak it in, today was even better than yesterday, which I didn't think was possible," UC head coach Dan Stratford said.

For a senior class who played in three of the last four national championship games. There was no better way to close a career.

"I've had my ups and downs, especially as a team, we've been through it all. Getting so close, but finally getting my hands on that trophy over there is the best feeling in the world. Every year we went to the final four, and it's been like a learning curve for us, you know? We've gotten better and better each time. This time we went in confident and knew we were the best team in the country and have been all season, and we just had to prove it on that day, and I’m glad we did," senior forward Will Roberts said.

It's been quite the statistical season for UC, posting 18 shutouts and allowing just eight goals the entire season. But it was bringing proof back home that brought the most gratification.

"All these people back home supporting us, so a big shout out to everyone there. The Innovation Center was watching as well. And we had some fans down in Kansas City which is an 11-hour drive, I mean you can't ask for more than that,” Roberts said.

"It's amazing. Our names are going to be here forever. But wait it's just the beginning. We want more. We want a second trophy for sure,” Pita said.

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