Murfreesboro Football Club’s annual “Bash in the Boro” tournament traditionally draws some extremely tough competition from the Nashville area. FC Alliance’s 96 Boys Red entered the highest division with no fear, and consequently went unbeaten in four games to bring the championship trophy home to Knoxville. Coached by Claudio Rico, the boys played stout defense, holding their opponents to only one goal the entire tournament. Goalkeepers Jacob Huffaker and David Klett dominated in the net, while Jackson Goble scored two of the team’s four goals in a string of close games.
The first, against a powerful TNFC Revolution team, ended in a 1-1 tie. Goble struck from thirty yards out for Alliance in a physical, intense game. The tie earned the team a point in the standings, but it set up an elimination game with Murfreesboro Strikers Premier later in the day. Needing a win to advance to the semifinals, Goble again powered in a shot from outside the penalty box for a 1-0 win.
The Sunday morning semifinal was against TUSC Red, and with less than ten minutes to play, it appeared the 0-0 defensive struggle was heading for overtime. That’s when an Alliance player was brought down in the penalty box. Jacob Foncea drilled the penalty kick and the boys were off to the finals.
The championship game, a rematch with Murfreesboro, followed the same script. That game was also tied 0-0 with less than ten minutes to play when an Alliance player was fouled, but this time outside the penalty box. It didn’t matter. Logan Kington sent a beautiful free kick to Kyle Pacelli, who headed it home for the title.