Dr. Ken Yang Sports contributor
November 13, 2013
The Sampson County Soccer Club U8 girls won two tournaments in successive weekends. Starting the first weekend in November, two squads of eight (Clinton United Black team and Blue team) participated in the Charlotte Soccer Academy (CSA) Recreation Cup. The two teams won 4 of 6 matches.
The most exhilarating match was the third game on Saturday Nov. 7. Down 2 goals to none with 5 minutes to play, the Black team came back scoring 3 in the final five minutes of the game. It absolutely shocked a more athletic CSA team. CSA had numerous players with speed, but their brand of soccer was to kick the ball long down the field and allow fast players to chase and score. The SCS Clinton United Black team played a meticulous passing game, finding lanes and open players that eventually exhausted the Charlotte team. Particularly enjoyable was the progression of each player through the weekend with regarding to their spacing, foot skills, and passing. The more advanced players scored in bushels as expected through the weekend, however the most memorable were first time goals by Marley Blue, Josie Blackmon, and Daria Chavis plus goals by rookie players Olivia Williams and Rebekah Bryan.
The following weekend, a single squad of 12 went to the Triangle United Soccer Association (TUSA) Recreation Classic tournament in Efland. This team absolutely dominated the field of five teams winning by 5 or more goals per game and completely shutting out three teams and scoring a total of 34 goals over the weekend. The team was a blend of 6 to 8 year olds whose skills varied but played exquisitely well as a team. Despite their young age, the team was able to start play at the back field from the goalie position working the ball through the fullbacks connecting to the midfield and quickly to the strikers. Most goals were scored on terrific passing rarely seen in the younger developmental leagues. Every player scored multiple goals or assisted on multiple goals. The Clinton United girls in the championship match played the entire second half with just one player on the attacking half of the field. Even then, six different individual SCS players were able to score against five opposing players.
SCS recognizes that with time this wide skill gap will shrink and the larger pool of talent from these larger clubs will catch up to the level of our SCS players. Nonetheless, it certainly was a lot of fun to watch the future stars of Sampson County Soccer shine in their first tournaments against teams from the big cities.
Pictured at CSA – front row: Josie Blackman, Kamryn Worley, Larkin Best, Kenzy Yang, Daria Chavis, Caroline Holland, Cadence Best, Evan Gillespie. Back row: Marley Blue, Rebekah Bryan, Anna Leigh Waters, Savannah Pearson, Coach Yang, Ava Williford, Olivia Williams, Hanna Locklear, Haley Best.