STER FC Elite Black 96: Presidents Cup

Sunday, February 19

October 29, 2011

(2) STER FC Elite - 1 vs. (7) VSA Heat Gold - 0

The Elite started the game slow in the opening match of Presidents Cup weekend, facing a tenacious VSA squad.  The Elite started the Presidents Cup run looking for a new identity with the loss of one of their top scoring threats who broke his leg in match a week prior. The Elite had multiple chances to find the back of the net receiving numerous corner kicks early, only to be denied by a stingy Heat defense. Finally, a corner late in the first half found Parker heading the ball past the reach of the Heat keeper.  The second half seemed to be dominated by the opponent, as the Elite relaxed tying to keep the 1-nil advantage.  Great goal keeping and a little luck from a kind-hearted cross bar, helped the Elite keep the lead and the victory.

 

November 5, 2011

 

(2) STER FC Elite – 2 vs. (3) VAR VA Pen Swoosh – 0

The semi-final match matched  pitted the Elite against the prior year Virginia and Region 1 champion.  From the opening kick-off, the Elite looked like the team to beat.  They controlled possession of the ball and the defense thwarted any attempt to reach a scoring opportunity.  Mid-way through the first half, Parker broke the 0-0 tie, crashing the goal box and cleaning up the loose ball.  The Elite never, looked back.  They maintained the possession and held the Swoosh in check for the entire match.  In the second half, the Elite sealed the victory with a great run out of the back flank by Hunter, receiving a precision through ball and beating the keeper 1-on-1.

 

November 6, 2011

 

(2) STER FC Elite – 2 vs. (5) VSA Heat Blue - 1

The finals matched the Elite up once again with a VSA Heat team; however, this time it was against their “A” squad.  The Heat was running their table in NCSL and was taking the field confident from their 6-0 victory the day before over the D1 VSCI champion VAR Swoosh. Their confidence showed as they matched the Elite ball-for-ball and had many strong over the top through balls to their fast and talented strikers.  However, the Elite remained calm and played their two-touch possession game, probing for breakdowns.  Mid-way through the first half, the Elite made a costly mistake.  The Heat defense launched a long ball to a streaking forward.  A miscommunication between the Elite backs and goal tender had them taking each other out and the forward had an open goal to tap in the first goal of the match.  The Elite did not panic and continued to work the ball, looking for their opportunities.  With 30 seconds remaining in the first half, the Elite put the momentum back in their favor as Alec was taken down 40 yards away from goal, and he made the most of it – hitting the ball on a hard line off the keeper’s outreached hand and bringing the game even at the whistle.  The second half was a defensive battle with neither team yielding to the attack, forcing the match to two overtime periods.   With seven minutes remaining in the second OT, the Elite got their break as the Heat defense took a player down in the box and gave up a PK.   Stepping up to hopefully grab a championship, Derek had his shot blocked and the game continued.  Unblemished, Derek composed himself and with minutes left, took a cross and headed in the championship goal.



Friday, May 25
REGIONAL FINALS

Game 1: 0-0 vs. SAC United - On a horse pasture in New Hampshire; the Elite took the field against a MD team to begin the regional finals. The Elite dominated the match, controlling the midfield and attacking third of the pitch for 90% of the game. The long grass and slow conditions slowed the fast paced 2 touch game the Elite rely on, thus forcing them to play the long ball game. The United defense was tough the entire match and when the Elite thought they had a broken the line and buried the ball in the net, the officials ruled the forwards offside, calling back two goals. The Elite played a defensive battle as the ball reached the FC keeper twice the entire 80 minutes. In the end, the boys walked off the field with a scoreless draw, waiting to meet the tough EPA squad later in the day.

Game 2: 1-2 vs. EPA Rage - The Elite started slow. With two impact players injured and one dealing with heat stroke, the Rage took an early lead in the first five minutes of the match. Preying on their weakness, the Rage struck again and had a 2-0 lead with plenty of time remaining. However, the Elite were not going to fold up and head for home. Driving through the mid-field, Alec swept the ball right and from 35 yards buried the ball with force in the upper far corner, out of the reach of an outstretched keeper, narrowing the lead to 2-1 going into half. The second half was all Elite. Twice the boys broke down the defense and had 2v1 with the keeper, but both times the officials raised the flag. The Elite finally caught a break, or so they thought, as Will back-heeled the ball over the goal-line, witnessed by all those standing on the hill, yet a Rage defender swept back into the net and cleared the ball and the AR waived off the goal from the pitched location on the far sideline. With everything going against the Elite, they continued to fight, but could not find the equalizer. The Elite needed a win on Sunday morning against the home team local NH squad, Seacoast.

Game 3: 1-1 vs. Seacoast - Physical, nasty and out of control are the only words to describe the game. The Elite boys found resilience to hold off the hits and not let the officiating dictate the game. The match went back and forth, with great saves by both keepers. The Elite struck first with seven minutes left in the match as Alec bent in a corner kick for a 1-0 lead. Moments later, the Elite thought they were heading to the penalty mark (see video) as Brandon was mauled in the box - but once again the calls were not there. With two minutes remaining in the game, the Seacoast team earned a corner and after a few unfortunate bounces, the hopes of the semi-finals were gone when the ball found the back of the net.

The FC Elite represented VA proudly and thank Region 1 and the NH Association for hosting the event.


preview Brandon NH by Witteveen