Team's long journey from scratch ends with Division 3 title
Eighteen months ago, the 00 Boys Gold 1 was a hodge podge of players looking for a home in competitive soccer. They were all good athletes, but each had an aspect of his game to improve, ranging from enhancing technical skills to simply gaining experience in the sport. Slowly but surely, the players improved and the team began gaining momentum. They went from competing against low levels of competition to standing their ground against higher and higher quality opponents. Then it all culminated with an amazing weekend in Hendersonville, when they achieved their ultimate goal by winning the Tennessee Division 3 state championship.
The tournament began inconspicuously for the 00 Boys Gold 1. They lost to a tough Lakeway Lightning team 4-3. The deciding goal was a penalty kick, which naturally garned a wide variety of emotions and opinions from each team. The 00 Gold 1 initially figured the season was likely over, but they found new life when Lakeway lost their second game to Brentwood Select 2-0. All the FC Alliance squad had to do was beat Brentwood by two goals and they were through. Easier said then done. Earlier in the season, the 00 Gold 1 did beat Brentwood, but it was a tough 3-2 victory on a last second goal. Everyone expected a war. What they got was total domination. FC Alliance ran roughshod over their mid-state rivals, winning by a stunning 9-0 score.
The semifinal was equally as impressive. Although the 00 Gold 1 fell behind 1-0 on early breakaway goal, they recovered with a dominant second half for an 8-1 win.
The championship game was against the East Ridge Express Red. The Chattanooga club’s top U12 boys team had not allowed a goal the entire tournament. The match started well for the 00 Gold 1. The first fifteen minutes saw several solid scoring chances stopped by a stubborn Express goalkeeper. From there, both teams put each other on lockdown, as it became a defensive struggle. 00 Gold 1 goalkeeper Luke Semaan, as well as defenders Drew Bowles and Jackson Poindexter, refused to break. Finally, with less than twenty minutes left, Skylar Bailey scored on a cornerkick to give FC Alliance a 1-0 lead.
The score stood, and the 00 Boys Gold 1 claimed the title. Team members are: Elijah Arguez, Kenton Bachmann, Skylar Bailer, Drew Bowles, Finn Harris, Braden Hicks, Christian Kirk, Jackson Poindexter, Luke Semaan, Chris Shular, Mason Stivers and Brayden White.