It has been an exciting year for Freedom BU12 Green. At last year’s State Cup, the team was a BU11 bronze team that came within a few minutes of going to penalty kicks to advance to the round of 32 when a late goal in the 2nd OT derailed their advancement. Setting their 2015 sights on advancing to at least the round of 32 and hopefully the round of 16 this year as a silver team, the team finally saw all of their hard work over the last year payoff.
We started 2015 playing two challenging tournaments which prepared them for a tough round of 64 and allowed them to advance to the round of 32 as the #3 wildcard team with a 2-0-1 pool play record. Playing a solid Colton (silver elite) the boys earned a 1-0 victory and advanced to Sunday’s round of 16. Playing another well coached BYSC Corona United team (silver), FFC dominated play, but found themselves down 0-1 with 8 minutes to go in the game. Off a beautiful cross, a volley tied the score and the two teams headed into 2 OT periods of play. With approximately 3 minutes to go in the 2nd OT, Freedom BU12 Green found the back of the net and notched a great 2-1 victory achieving not only their goal of reaching the round of 16, but now advancing to the round of 8.
Having to play a 2nd game only a few hours later made the boys for both teams (SC South Albion - silver elite) battle fatigue, which played a major role in the first half. Spurred on by two well-earned goals in the first half, Freedom FC played a better 2nd half and controlled the tempo of the match. Albion scored a late goal with 30 seconds remaining in the match to make the final score a little misleading, 2-1.
With inspired play by all starters and equally great play by players coming off the bench, the weekend was fun and exciting to watch. Goalie performed very well during the weekend with an outstanding record of 5-0-1 with 3 shutouts and a goal differential of 6 for the team.
A great deal of credit for the team’s improvement should go to a very tough fall league, where the team played against stiff competition demonstrated by 4 teams from the league advancing to the round of 32 during State Cup. Freedom FC along with league opponent, Nitemares Cefomm advanced to the Elite 8, quarterfinal round. But only Freedom FC Green made it to the Final Four ☺
During the fall league a slow start for the first half of the season was a result of some contributing factors: a bee sting uprising in game #1, injuries and a late transfer delay of a key player had the team at only 2-3-1 at the midpoint of the season. The second half of league, the boys rallied with a 5-2 record finishing off the season with an 8-5-1 mark.
Now 3 months later and improving as a team with each practice and match, the boys have learned how to hang in there for a full 60 minute match and have confidence in themselves that they can come back at any stage of the contest. Hopefully, we will continue to find the back of the net and utilize our strong defense to allow the roll to continue on 2/28/15 – stay tuned!!