This past weekend six Tri-City Storm teams traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to compete in the 3rd Annual Presidents Cup at the Sanford Field House. Representing the girls side were the U12, U13, U14 and U16 girls teams, while the U14 and U16 boys rounded out the remaining Tri-City teams. As expected, the tournament featured top quality competition from around the region across all age groups. At the conclusion of the weekend, three Tri-City teams were crowned champs, while another narrowly missed out on a top place finish. Overall, the quality of soccer on display was encouraging from all the teams and for the most part the results followed suit. Continuing reading to see how each team fared at the Presidents Cup.
We’ll start things off with the three championship sides – The U13 girls, U14 girls and the U14 boys. The U13 girls confidently swept aside the competition this weekend as they won all four of their games by a combined score of 10-1. The lone goal they conceded came in the championship game, which they won 3-1 against a strong Minot Magic U13 girls team. Team members: Madeline Etter, Alyssa Heacox, Lauren Hodny, Sara McMullen, Annie Mund, Breanna Nelson, Emily Post, Molly Sundbom and Gabby Tunheim.
The U14 girls also showcased some fantastic soccer throughout the tournament and ultimately earned a first place finish. The girls played in a five team bracket where they played each team once and the team with the most points after the four games would be declared champion. Over the four games they recorded two wins and two draws while maintaining a positive six-goal differential. Their record gave them 8 points over the weekend and meant that they edged out both Dakota Alliance teams who each finished with 7 points. Team members: Megan Barnick, Brooke Boyer, Kylie Englund, Sophie Gjesdahl, Ashley Hansen, Abigail Hoff, Anna Lambertz, Niesha Mancini, Haley Peters and Kendall Swanson.
Rounding out the first place finishers was the U14 boys, who earned a trip to the championship game after recording two wins and a draw in group play and then beating DUSC 3-1 in the semi-final game. The boys showed some great individual and team play at times while they scored 11 goals and conceded only six. In the championship game they came up against Dakota Alliance Spitfire who they had previously lost to during group play. The boys found themselves down by three goals right away, but they showed their mental strength by battling back and scoring four unanswered goals. After 36 intense minutes of soccer the boys had claimed first place. Team members: Alhasan Alomar, Gabe Borowicz, Conner Bosch, Jarin Entzi, Casey Haldis, Camerson Hoff, Ethan Olson, Jack Olson and Tate Simpson.
Also playing in a championship game were the U16 girls. Overall they had a great weekend as they faced some quality competition from around the region. Two wins and 10 goals in group play helped earn the girls a spot in the championship game. In the final they came up against a very strong BHR U16 girls team and were beat by a score of 1-5. Team members: Cory Duffield, Ruth Hegstad, Madison Lucas, Jensen Odegaard, Molly Sarafolean, Allie Stover, Destiny Valdez, Peighten Watson and Lauren Zanotti.
The U12 Girls had some unfortunate results against quality competition but still showed some great signs of improvement. They tied their first game at one goal a piece, but then narrowly lost their next two games by scores of 2-4 and 1-3. If the ball had bounced a little differently maybe the results would’ve been different, but that is beside the point. What is important is that the team improves and learns from the experience of playing against quality opponents. Team members: Mikayla Barnick, Maria Borowicz, Ally Peters, Chloe Strom, Sydney Tweten, Liana Ulness, Olivia Watson, Amber Weibye and Maria Zanotti.
This weekend proved to be troublesome for the U16 boys. One look at their results and you see that they had three losses, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. The boys were unlucky to lose all three games by one measly goal, 3-4, 3-4 and 0-1. A single decision can be the difference between winning and losing these games and so the boys shouldn’t be discouraged with the way they played. Surely they have positives to take away from the weekend, as well as some areas that need to be refined. Team members: Bassel El-Rewini, Noah Gjesdahl, Hunter Maloy, Brian Rapp, Matthew Russell, Devon Thompson and Trey Waltz.
Overall the Presidents Cup in Sioux Falls did not disappoint as all the Tri-City Storm teams that were in attendance faced some really good competition and displayed moments of great soccer. Win or lose, what’s important is that the kids continue to develop as individuals and as teams. Great job to all the Tri-City Storm teams that made the trip this weekend! Now its time to get back on the training field and continue to get better.