The SOCA U17 Boys Elite team will be in Fredericksburg this weekend looking to take care of unfinished business. Last year, the squad advanced all the way to the state championship game. After finishing the game tied with Arlington SC the match advanced to overtime and eventually penalty kicks, where the team came up on the short end of the contest. Losing in PK’s can leave a sour taste in a team’s mouth as it often has the feel of a lottery rather than a real game.
Having stewed on that result for the past year, the SOCA squad now finds itself back in familiar territory as it prepares for another State Cup Final Four. In two of the past three years, SOCA has advanced to the state title game and come up short. In addition to last year’s match the team lost in overtime to FC Richmond as U14’s and as U15’s the group did not compete as a team as players were rotated to a variety of other SOCA teams for developmental purposes.
The track record of this group of players is impressive. Since their initial season as U11’s, the team has lost only one time at home, compiling a 53-1-1 home record in their time together. In addition to finishing runners up in the State Cup last year, the team finished in first place in the state wide Club Champions League, drawing again with their rivals Arlington en route to claiming the league title.
This year the team has picked up where it left off, getting out to a quick 7-0 start in league play that puts it in sole possession of first place again. Along the way SOCA won a hotly contested rematch with Arlington 3-2 to gain a measure of redemption and stake an early lead in what will surely prove to be a closely contested league table in CCL play.
More than anything though, this group would like to capture the one title that has repeatedly eluded it: the VYSA State Cup. This weekend will provide an opportunity to do just that and earn recognition as the best in Virginia.
Lying in wait will be three familiar foes. In addition to Arlington and SOCA, two other CCL league members have advanced to the state semifinals, Virginia Legacy out of Williamsburg and Beach FC from Virginia Beach. All four of these teams currently occupy the top four positions in the state wide Club Champions League so there will be no surprises this weekend.
The State Cup Final Four will have extra excitement this year as it marks the grand opening of the state of Virginia’s own training center and field facility. The VYSA Soccer Training Center features nine full size championship quality fields including a showcase, stadium pitch. Located in Fredericksburg, VA the VYSA Soccer Training Center will be the permanent home to VYSA activities such as ODP events, Coach Education and State Cup matches.
SOCA plays Virginia Legacy in the semifinal tomorrow, Saturday, November 1 at 2pm on Field #8. The championship match should the team advance will be Sunday at 12:30pm on Field #7.
Consider a trip to Fredericksburg this weekend to support the royal and red. Go SOCA!