It was a crazy weekend in the Fargo, Moorhead area as thousands of kids, parents, referees and volunteers came together to make the 2013 Tri-City Storm Youth Soccer Tournament a success. Over 170 teams made the trek to the tournament with the hope of heading home on Sunday as champions, but while not every team could be named champion, every team could at least enjoy the great weather and high level of competition that was on display this weekend. The first games kicked off at noon on Friday and the last championship games came to an end at six on Sunday afternoon with nearly 350 games played during that time. With so much going on its difficult to pick out just a single story to talk about so I will do my best to recap such a fun and action-packed event.
Coming into the weekend mother nature presented us with a few problems. An excessive amount of water threatened to delay the tournament as several fields were disguised as lakes, but luckily they were able to dry out in time for games to be played! Believe it or not below is a photo of one of the fields at Pepsi Soccer Complex as of Wednesday morning last week.
It was an anxious couple of days as we waited very impatiently for the water to drain and get the fields set up and painted, but everything worked out just fine in time for the start of the tournament. Teams began checking in their teams Thursday night and preparing for the first games on Friday, which featured teams mostly from the surrounding area. As Saturday rolled around we saw an influx of Canadian teams as they made the journey down to town for what was the first official day of summer for many of them. In addition to the Canadians that came down to the tournament, we also had the privilege to have Major League Soccer caliber referees come to the tournament to share their wisdom with both the referees and players at the tournament. A crew of referees based out of St. Louis took time out of their schedules to come officiate and look for young and promising referees. The Forum did a great article on the crew which can be found here.
Over the weekend Tri-City club teams represented themselves well as six teams made it to championship games. The U11 Girls Black team and the U14 Girls Black team were crowned champions by the end of the weekend, while the U12 Boys Black, U11 Girls White, U14 Girls Gold and U16 Boys Black all got second place. The U11 Girls Black team beat Bonivital 6-0 in the championship game to cap off an incredible weekend for the team as they went undefeated, scoring 17 goals and keeping a shutout throughout the entire tournament for 240 consecutive minutes. The U11 Girls Black team is pictured above. Team members in back row, left to right: Madeline Etter, Saela Fredricks, Gabby Tunheim, Alyssa Heacox, Breanna Nelson, Lauren Hodny, Hadley Huber, Emily Jahner, Katie Matter, Sana Ghauri. Front row: Emily Post, Annie Mund, and Molly Sundbom.
The U14 Girls Black team also were crowned champions in their age group after beating FCNW Fury 2-1 in double overtime. Their only loss of the tournament came against the same team in which they lost a 1-0, however it was the result in the final game that mattered the most to the girls. They were trailing by one goal at halftime, but were able to tie things up to force overtime. With about three minutes left in the second overtime period Allie Stover put the U14 Girls ahead with a lazer in the upper 90 from about 25 yards away from goal. Everybody went absolutely crazy as soon as the ball entered the net, knowing that they were just a few short minutes away from winning it all. Team members for the U14 Girls Black team are: Grace Aas, Cory Duffield, Ruth Hegstad, Emily Heinrich, Tabatha Kelsch, Madison Kramer, Emily Leier, Madison Lucas, Ashley Matter, Rachel Nguyen, Molly Sarafolean, Allie Stover, Allison Ulness, Peighton Watson, Kara Werth, and Lauren Zanotti.
The U12 Boys Black team also had a successful tournament, but unfortunately came up just short of winning their age group. They had two wins and a tie in their group scoring 18 goals and letting in only 9. The U11 Girls White team almost fared as well as the other half of the girls on the Black team. They made it to the championship game where they loss to the undefeated champions, Hub City. The other half the U14 girls also had a respectable tournament as the Gold team took second place in their division after falling just short against Brookings FC in a one to zero game. They scored 7 goals and let in only 3, all of which came against Brookings in two separate games. Lastly, the U16 Boys Black team proved to themselves that they are a top quality team as they made it to the championship game, while playing up an age group in the U17 division. The championship game was an intense contest between them and Centennial Cougars as the scores remained locked deep into overtime. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game the Cougars scored to all but seal the win for themselves. While it was an unfortunate loss, the experience should be proved as a positive especially since they showed that they can compete against higher level competition. In addition to the second and first place teams, Tri-City also had teams represent themselves very well. The U13 Girls Black team had three wins and a tie, but just missed out on playing in the championship game due to tiebreakers. The U9 Girls team had two wins a tie and a loss. The U10 Girls Gold team recorded two wins and two losses, while the U10 Black team had three wins and only one loss.
Overall, this weekend proved to be a successful one for the Tri-City Storm Youth Soccer Tournament. As with any event there are bound to be some bumps in the road and this tournament was no exception, however the tournament was able to go on with the help of countless volunteers, referees, and parents. We give a big thank you to all of you who helped make this event special and please know that none of this is possible without the combined efforts of everyone involved. Thank you and here’s to looking forward to next years tournament already!