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ACADEMY B03' - NATIONAL CUP CHAMPIONS!!

05/21/2018, 11:15am PDT
By TFA

THE OLDER'S NATIONAL CUP COMPETITION CONCLUDED THIS PAST WEEKEND AND TFA'S ACADEMY B03' CAME AWAY WITH THE CHAMPIONS TITLE!

THE FINAL WOULD BE A REPEAT OF AN EARLIER GAME PLAYED IN WHICH THESE TWO TEAMS MET DURING BRACKET PLAY BUT WITH A MUCH DIFFERENT OUTCOME. THAT TIME WE WERE ON THE LOSING END OF A 1-4 SCORE.  NOT TO WORRY SINCE OUR B03'S WOULD ADVANCE OUT OF GROUP WHICH ULTIMATELY AFFORDED THEM THE ABILITY TO IMPROVE WITH EACH AND EVERY GAME.

ALONG THE WAY TO THE FINAL THEY HAD TO KNOCK OFF THE #1 RANKED TEAM IN THEIR AGE GROUP WHICH THEY DID AND THEN FIGHT THROUGH A TOUGH SEMI-FINAL MATCH THAT SAW THEM BACK INTO THE FINAL JUST LIKE THE PREVIOUS YEAR IN 2017.

THE MATCH BEGAN WITH OUR OPPONENT SCORING OFF A CORNER KICK EARLY THAT PUT US DOWN 0-1. FROM THAT POINT ON, THE GAME WAS PLAYED AT A FEVER PITCH AS BOTH TEAMS DEFENDED AND ATTACKED.  THEN, AS THE HALF WAS COMING TO AN END, OUR OPPONENT WAS AWARDED A PENALTY KICK AS ONE OF OUR PLAYERS WAS CALLED FOR A FOUL INSIDE THE BOX.  THIS WOULD BE THE TURNING POINT OF THE MATCH. 

SAUL, OUR AMAZING GOAL KEEPER, CAME UP WITH A DIVING SAVE THAT MAINTAINED THE ONE GOAL LEAD AND KEPT HIS TEAM IN THE GAME!

THE SECOND HALF REMAINED THE SAME UNTIL OUR MOMENT TO SCORE ARRIVED.  AFTER A BLISTERING SHOT ON GOAL WAS KNOCKED DOWN BY THEIR KEEPER, OUR PLAYERS CONTINUED TO PLAY ON AND FOLLOWED UP THE REBOUND BY RIPPING THE BALL INTO THE BACK OF THE NET.  NOW 1-1, THE MOMENTUM AS WELL AS CONFIDENCE BEGAN SHIFTING FROM ONE TEAM TO THE OTHER AS OUR B03'S TURNED UP THE INTENSITY EVEN MORE NOW BELIEVING THEY COULD WIN THIS MATCH. HOWEVER, REGULATION TIME EXPIRED WITH THE GAME STILL TIED THAT MEANT THEY WOULD NOW HAVE TO PLAY AN ADDITIONAL (2) 15 MINUTE OVERTIME HALVES BEFORE GOING TO PK'S, IF NECESSARY.

THE FIRST OT BEGAN LIKE THE THE SECOND HALF ENDED WITH OUR B03'S PRESSURING AS WELL AS HAVING MORE DANGEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO SCORE. FORTUNATELY FOR US IT CAME OFF ANOTHER REBOUND WHEN JOEL BLASTED IT IN FROM JUST OUTSIDE THE BOX.  UP 2-1 WITH A WHOLE SECOND OT TO PLAY WAS NOT GOING TO BE EASY TO MAINTAIN THE LEAD.

THE SECOND OT BEGAN WITH US ON OUR HEELS A BIT HOWEVER ONCE WE SETTLED DOWN AND DENIED THEM ANY SCORING OPPORTUNITIES, THE PRESSURE BEGAN TO MOUNT ON OUR OPPONENT AS THEIR PATIENCE & FRUSTRATION BEGAN TO SURFACE THAT ULTIMATELY CAUSED ONE OF THEIR PLAYERS TO BE RED CARDED.  FACED WITH HAVING TO PLAY WITH ONLY 10 MEN AND DOWN A GOAL WAS GOING TO BE AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TASK THAT ULTIMATELY CULMINATED WITH OUR B03'S GETTING IN BEHIND THEIR DEFENSE ON A COUNTER THEN MANAGING TO BEAT THEIR LONELY KEEPER FOR THE THIRD GOAL OF THE GAME.

TIME RAN OUT AND OUR B03'S WERE NATIONAL CUP CHAMPIONS WITH A 3-1 WIN!!  THEIR JOURNEY DOESN'T END HERE AS IT NOW CULMINATES WITH A TRIP TO THE REGIONAL FINALS IN HAWAII NEXT MONTH.

WE'D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THE TEAM AS WELL AS SCARLETT, THE TEAM MANAGER, FOR A GREAT SEASON SO FAR.  HOWEVER WE'D ESPECIALLY LIKE TO CONGRATULATE COACH VICENTE FOR NOT ONLY PREPARING THE TEAM FOR THIS MATCH BUT FOR THE WONDERFUL JOB YOU HAVE DONE WITH THEM ALL YEAR LONG.  BUENA SUERTE IN HAWAII..!! 

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