One year of endless training, hard work and dedication comes down to one game. Eight games have passed, 38 goals have been scored, only three goals have been received and the Cal South State Cup Presidents Division Championship in the 14U age group is at stake, and with it, a ticket to the 2018 US Youth Soccer Far West Presidents Cup in Salt Lake City.
Ninety minutes, with overtime, go by and Slammers FC and Anaheim Surf have yet to break the score in what was a hard-fought battle. Ten penalty kicks separate Slammers coach Steve Patterson and his girls from the most important win they’ve had all year. And then it happens.
“This championship means a lot,” said coach Patterson after the game. “We got this group about 12 months ago and we’ve worked really hard to improve the girls and they’ve really executed the things that I’ve put in place for them and making sure that they’re prepared to be in games like this, in championship quality games.
“Our girls had to adjust and learn to how to play through that. Credit to them because it’s difficult to do and Surf did a fantastic job,” he added.
But the year is not over yet for Slammers FC. This summer, coach Patterson and the girls will be representing Cal South and Southern California in the Far West Presidents Cup in Salt Lake City. There, they will face the top teams in the 14UG age group from each of the western states. The work to clinch State Cup is complete, Salt Lake City is ahead.
“I’m proud that we can bring a championship home to the Slammers organization,” the Slammers coach said. “Our goal is to represent Cal South and win Utah now and let everyone know where Cal South stands.
“Our goal is just to make sure these kids are preparing themselves. They’re still relatively young, but getting them prepared for the next level and making sure they understand that if they continue to develop, stay focused in training, that each event, yeah, they’re meaningful, but at the same time, we need to be very consistent players and it doesn’t matter that it’s a cup final or regular league game, that we need to continue to play and develop the way we want to, and if we do that, the winning part comes naturally,” he added.
The following is a photo slideshow of the Presidents Youngers Champions & Finalists: