June 14, 2006
The U.S. may have lost their first World Cup game, but at home one local team made the furthest a Central Virginia team has ever gone--all the way to the state championship.
The U13 Express is SOCA's advanced team who made it to the state cup for the second year in a row and lost to the same team 2-0. But after watching them play, you have to remember, they're just 13-years-old.
"They play like little professionals when you see them sometimes. When they get it going it's really a wonderful thing to see," said Dan Rosensweig, SOCA Director of Coaching.
Success came with a lot of practice.
"We would be be like a truck, you know? Get started slowly and then once we get going we're unstoppable," said Jack Coffin who plays all over the field.
They couldn't have made it without teamwork.
"They're not selfish at all so, nobody [says] 'Oh I have to do this, I have to do that.' We all work together as a team and have made many accomplishments," said midfielder Reuben Chapman.
To reach the finals, the team won in a shoot out.
"I was pretty nervous because it's a lot of pressure on just a goalie...and I saved the last one. If I hadn't have saved the last one, we would have been out, because we would have lost," said keeper Kai Shin.
"I just knew what I had to do and I just shot it," said Micah Arseneault who scored the winning goal.
The team has a mixture of personalities--even a girl, but as for how she's treated:
"Just as another player on the team," said Ellie Von Storch who made the state team.
The players have their eyes on the World Cup because they may be there one day.
"I just want to see how far the U.S. can go this year because they got pretty far last year," said Aaron Myers.
Most are still basking in the glow of a great season.
"It feels pretty good because there are a lot of SOCA teams and knowing that we are the best, it just feels good," said co-captain Josh Hinkle.
There were 4,000 kids that played for SOCA this year, and the program is still growing.