There was a great deal to cheer about at South Fork Soccer Park on Saturday, September 17, as hosts SOCA swept seven State Cup matches in a comprehensive display of excellence against a range of opponents. The seven home matches was the greatest number ever hosted by SOCA in a single day and the friendly confines of the home park provided added inspiration as SOCA Elite teams swept all comers on the day.
All seven SOCA teams had earned a seeded placement in the tournament based upon previous success. Seeding is reserved for only the top eight squads in each age group, SOCA’s success and known quality earned the teams the right to host in early round play.
The day started with a win by the narrowest margin as the U18 Girls needed a penalty kick shootout to advance against SYA after a scoreless regulation and overtime. The match is officially recorded as a 1-0 win for SOCA.
The second match of the day was another nail biter as the U19 Boys required an overtime effort to finally top Roanoke in a 3-2 effort.
The remaining matches allowed for easier breathing, with SOCA Elite squads demonstration their strengths through a series of convincing wins: U16 Boys (5-1 vs SVU), U17 Boys (6-2 vs SYA), U15 Girls (3-0 vs Roanoke), U17 Girls (9-0 vs Annandale), U19 Girls (4-0 vs Va. Rush).
Both the U16 Boys and the U17 Boys advance to the Round of 16, where they will again enjoy the home field.
Quarter final group play awaits the remaining five SOCA squads with each next facing other seeded teams and unseeded survivors of early round play. Three SOCA squads are third seeds (U16 Boys, U17 Boys and U17 Girls) and the U19 Boys are seeded fourth in their age group.
SOCA’s Elite teams are known throughout Virginia as serious Cup contenders across all age groups. Success in the state championship competition results from a comprehensive club-wide development model infused with committed players, supported by devoted families and guided by quality coaches. SOCA’s long-term player development plan was on full display Saturday.
State Cup match schedules are developed weekly by the Cup committee. Schedules for upcoming rounds have not yet been released at the time of this report. Brackets, results, schedules and full State Cup information can be found on the VYSA website, here: http://www.vysa.com/statecup/index_E.html