The U10 Girls SYA Storm soccer team was sponsored by Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway Realtor Group to travel to Richmond, Virginia March 21 and 22 to compete in the 2009 Jefferson Cup which is the #2 ranked tournament in the nation. The SYA Storm finished striking hot as they won both of the semi final and final games to emerge as Champion of the top U10 Championship Division in the 2009 Jefferson Cup. The SYA Storm was the only team from Fairfax County to win the Championship Division for their respective age group and only 1 of 2 teams that won it by representing the State of Virginia.
The SYA Storm had a grueling schedule consisting of two preliminary games on Saturday, one preliminary game Sunday morning and followed up by a semi final at noon on Sunday and a championship final Sunday afternoon. All of the U10 Girls games were played at Striker Park which is a 11-field soccer facility that is highly regarded as one of the country’s top soccer complexes. The three preliminary round opponents were Massachusetts’ – Western Mass. Jr. Pioneers, Pennsylvania’s - Council Rock United Wildcats and Maryland’s Greater Harford Lady Hawks. The SYA Storm finished in first place in their preliminary round of play with 2 wins and 1 tie.
The SYA Storm advanced to the semi final game to play HBC Impact 98 out of Huntington, New York. In a hard fought game on the pitch, the SYA Storm prevailed 1 to 0 advancing to the championship game. In the championship game the SYA Storm played against the Loudoun Red 98, another Northern Virginia team. The SYA Storm and Loudoun Red 98 teams did a great job by representing Northern Virginia area and WAGS by reaching the championship game after competing against teams from all over the Eastern United States.
In the championship game, Loudoun Red 98 scored first in the second half by penetrating through the SYA Storm defense. The 1-0 Loudoun Red 98 lead was intact until the final minute of the game. With three minutes remaining in the match, the SYA Storm substituted three players into the game with one message from their coach… “this is a right here right now moment”. In the next three minutes, the SYA Storm switched their field lineup to a pressing offensive attack and with under a minute remaining in regulation time the SYA Storm nailed a shot into the upper left corner of Loudoun Red 98’s goal to send the game into overtime. In overtime the SYA Storm finished with a beautifully struck corner kick in which one of the SYA Storm players was able to redirect the ball into Loudoun Red 98’s goal. The SYA Storm maintained the 2-1 lead for the remaining overtime period and prevailed as Champions of the top U10 Championship Division.
The 2009 Jefferson Cup Premier Soccer Tournament had over 600 girls teams apply and only accepted roughly 300 teams. In the past 4 Years, the Jefferson Cup has turned down an average of over 250 girls teams per year. The Jefferson Cup is currently ranked the #2 youth tournament in the United States. Each year the tournament draws an average of over 150 State Cup Champions, over 50 Regional Champions and over 5 National Champions per year throughout the nine age groups. The Tournament is held at 13 different complexes around the Greater Richmond Area with the main facility being Striker Park. Each year the tournament brings around 200 college coaches per weekend to scout the players participating. The main sponsors of the Jefferson Cup are Markel Corporation, NIKE, Pepsi, Richmond Sports Backers, Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club. The Jefferson Cup has become associated with tournaments such as the Dallas Cup, The San Diego Surf Cup, WAGS Women’s Tournament, and the Disney College Showcase as one of the five premier North American tournaments in the country.
The SYA Storm now prepares for the FPYC Tournament March 28 and 29 and the beginning of their fourth season in WAGS. The SYA Storm is part of the SYA Academy Development Program where all teams for each respective age group are trained together once a week to foster and grow the talent within the club. SYA Storm sister teams include the SYA Blaze and SYA Storm Black and due to the huge success of their program a fourth team is expected to be formed this summer. Good luck SYA Storm, SYA Blaze and SYA Storm Black!!!
Tournament Players are… back row – Quinn Rogers, Emma Carter, Gabriella Gordon, Isabella Gordon, Caroline Kulczycky, Rachel Fischer, and first row - Casey Peterson, Madison Boyce, Dora Drezga, Molly Cripe, Erin Brockman, and Coaches Kurt Gordon and Ray Motha