With the weather anything but frosty, 44 Recreation program teams completed their fall campaigns with plenty of hot action in SOCA’s annual Frostbite Tournament over the weekend of December 1-2. In unseasonably balmy conditions, teams competed in eight divisions from the U-10 to the U-18 age group for local Rec program bragging rights.
Competitors battled on the field while maintaining a clear understanding of the purpose of the event, which is to celebrate the talents of the players in a fun tournament setting. “This is one of the club highlights of the year,” said Executive Director Bill Mueller. “This tournament has been held for over 20 years, and it is always a thrill to see the kids, coaches and families enjoying themselves at the Frostbite Tournament. The tournament allows us to put these players at center stage to showcase all they have learned. Don Dolinger, our Recreation Program Coordinator and tournament director, does a great job putting together the event for the kids, and they repay the effort with all their enthusiasm and exciting soccer.”
In a fitting finale to the entire tournament, the last championship match on Sunday provided entertainment on a grand scale. The U-12 Girls division championship pitted two closely matched finalists, LM31 (purple) vs LN33 (kelly green). After being scoreless at the end of regulation, the teams gave it a last supreme effort in extra time, but remained knotted after two sudden death periods. In fading light as the wintering sun was setting over South Fork Soccer Park, the match was finally determined by a penalty kick shoot-out, where after five rounds the LM31 squad prevailed by the slimmest of margins.
“It was a great weekend of soccer,” said Dolinger. “It’s a treat to see these kids, at all ages, playing with such heart and pure joy. We look forward to this as a terrific way to wrap up the fall season and celebrate the kids and their accomplishments.”
The SOCA Recreation program includes nearly 1900 players on more than 160 teams, from U-8 to U-18, with Boys and Girls-only divisions. The Frostbite Tournament is open to all SOCA teams from U-10 to U-18. At the conclusion of the spring season, SOCA conducts a similar Sunburn Tournament for the enjoyment of Recreation teams.
To view the 2012 Frostbite Tournament champions and runners-up, follow this link: https://www.socaspot.org/tournaments.php