On Saturday, April 8 SOCA teams earned a split decision in State Cup play at South Fork Soccer Park with the U13 Boys Elite squad winning their match 4-2 against visiting VA Rush, while the U12 Girls Apprentice fell to Loudoun 3-1.
The boys, led by first year coach AJ Barnard, played with a depleted squad but managed to outlast their visitors after jumping to an early lead. Aaron Evans accounted for a 2-0 SOCA score line at half-time, with a well-executed counter attack goal, followed by a beautiful long range drive that sailed past the well beaten Rush keeper. In the first half SOCA were controlling the run of play and severely limited any danger from the visitors.
After the interval, Rush shrugged off the deficit by increasing pressure and causing turn-overs in the midfield. Capitalizing on an opportunity Rush cut the lead to 2-1 mid-way through the second half. The following minutes were tense as momentum shifted to Rush, who were seeking the equalizer. However, it was SOCA’s Nasir Lindsay who scored next, against the run of play, to return SOCA’s two goal margin with a nifty solo effort, lifting the ball over the keeper and fighting off defenders to bundle the ball over the goal line. Shortly thereafter Brendan Boland finished off a cleanly executed flank attack by heading home to make it 4-1, with SOCA in cruise control at that point.
Rush scored on the last kick of the game to pull one back, posting the final 4-2 score. The SOCA Boys will next face NRUS (New River) in the round of 16.
The SOCA U12 Girls Apprentice team ran into a determined Loudoun squad and a red hot goalkeeper which prevented them from advancing in the knock-out competition. In the early going SOCA looked destined to score but it was Loudoun who got on the board at the five minute mark against the run of play.
SOCA’s Maggie Inge led the local effort, but despite territorial advantage, SOCA could not equalize.
After the interval Kymora Johnson came to life and began to trouble the Loudoun goal. The visiting keeper made a fine double save against Johnson at about the 40 minute mark, which seemed to tell the story of the day.
Despite SOCA pressure, Loudoun found two more, making it 3-0 before SOCA scored to make the final minutes exciting, as the home team went pressing for a late miracle. The all-out final effort by the whole squad fell short, leaving them out of the Cup competition.
Cup play will resume on April 22. Schedules have not yet been released for that date.