The SYA Force was crowned the U-16 Boys Virginia State Cup champions Sunday Oct. 30, after a hard-fought, overtime battle against the RFC ’89 team, by a score of 3-2. The Force is repeating as State Champion, after winning at U-15 in 2004, and at U-12 in 2002 when the team also was the regional finalist.
The Force will join the SYA Elite – the girls U-16 State Cup champion – in representing Virginia at the regional tournament June 30-July 4, 2006.
After the battle at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex in Virginia Beach, Force head-coach Gus Donolo summed up the game, saying, “It could’ve gone either way”.
RFC drew “first-blood” in the 4th minute of play, scoring off an excellent cross and a good volley, but the Force equalized in the 30th minute for a 1-1 score at half time. The Force then took the lead early in the 2nd half off a beautifully taken free-kick from 25 yards out, which bent into the upper left 90, and held on through the most of the second half, only to give up a 2nd RFC goal in the 2nd minute of stoppage time, mere seconds before the whistle blew to mark the end of regulation with a 2-2 tie.
The Force regained the lead 13 minutes into the first overtime period, off of an incredibly hard-driven far-post shot from 20 yards out, which found the inside of the side net for the game winner.
This was a re-match of sorts of last year’s U15 State Cup final in Richmond, when the SYA Force (then SWYA Sidekicks) defeated this RFC side by an identical score of 3-2, but in regulation time
In its U16 State Cup run, the Force first disposed of McLean FC MPS (2-1), followed by Rush Swoosh from Virginia Beach (3-1), then Team America Premier from Manassas (1-0) in the quarterfinal round. The Force defeated the Richmond Kickers 1-0 in the semi-final.
Congratulations to all of the Virginia State Cup competitors, and especially to the Force players and coaches for their remarkable record of success in VYSA State Cup competition to date: 23 victories and 2 losses, with an average goal differential per game of nearly 3 to 1.