Three SOCA Elite teams will compete in the VYSA State Cup final four over the weekend of May 19 & 20 after claiming wins in the quarter final round. Joining the U12 Girls Apprentice, who qualified last week, are the U13 Boys Elite and U14 Boys Elite, both of whom advanced with wins on Saturday, May 6.
The U13 Boys Elite prevailed in a wild, emotionally draining affair against the visiting Lee Mount Vernon side at South Fork Soccer Park on Saturday afternoon. In an epic battle that saw the score tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, and 4-4 at the end of extra time, the match went to penalty kicks to determine the winner.
SOCA ‘keeper Jacob Engel made sparkling saves in the first two rounds of shots, and SOCA jumped to a 3-0 lead in the kicks from the mark. LMVSC clawed back to even the kicks at three a piece at the conclusion of the initial round of five kicks. The proceedings then went to single kicks for each team until one side was eliminated. It took an additional five rounds to separate the two sides. After 10 total rounds of spot kick drama, the SOCA supporters could finally breathe as the players celebrated their marathon win.
The fourth seeded U13’s will face #1 seed Virginia Legacy in the semi-final.
SOCA’s U14 Elite Boys also faced a determined opponent in the Stafford Revolution at the Charlottesville High School stadium in an evening match. The match was tied 1-1 entering the closing phase of the game, when SOCA scored from a headed goal off a corner kick, with only six minutes remaining. The second seeded SOCA squad will next face #3 seed LMVSC.
The U12 Girls Apprentice (#2 seed) will play against third seed Arlington in their semi-final match.
Placing three teams in the semi-final round of the VYSA State Cup is a testament to the players’ abilities, coaches’ leadership and the quality of SOCA programming overall. SOCA Director of Soccer, Bill Mueller, is pleased with the club’s performance.
“Any time any team makes it to the Cup final four we know that there is a great deal of time and effort that went in to that success. No team succeeds in a vacuum. It is the culmination of efforts by the players, families, coaches, club staff and an army of volunteers along the way. Placing three teams in the final four is really a strong statement about our club. That level of consistent success is the result of great kids, committed coaches and a supporting structure provided by the club. SOCA has unique, comprehensive player development and supplemental programs which allow each player to advance. Our Challenge program is the envy of many of our competitors. The SOCA player identification, selection and placement process is proven successful. It takes a constant, integrated effort to achieve the consistent results our club has enjoyed. I’m really proud of our players, coaches, volunteers and staff. SOCA is a marvelous community of soccer enthusiasts.”
All State Cup semi-final matches will take place at the Virginia Soccer Training Center in Fredericksburg. View here for more VYSA State Cup information: http://www.vysa.com/statecup/index_E.html