With four teams in Girls Division 1 state championship games, it was a huge day for FC Alliance. Coaches Josh Gray, Shane Moore and Jonathan Thompson were all up early this morning getting ready for undoubtedly the biggest games of their teams’ seasons. At just around 4:00PM, they are all relaxing with huge smiles. Three of the four FC Alliance teams in the Division 1 finals won state championships, tying the club with Nashville’s TSC for the most in the state. Only the Memphis Lobos was able to win one outside of FC Alliance and TSC, as they edged FC Alliance 95 Black 3-2 in the U18 final. Winners were: Shane Moore’s 99 Black in a penalty kick shootout, Jonathan Thompson’s 97 Black, and Josh Gray’s 96 Black.
Amazingly, the 99 Black won their championship game in a shootout with a field player in goal. It was their first state championship. The 97 Black finished second last year after losing in a shootout in the championship game, but this year avenged that with a 2-1 over the defending champion Tennessee Soccer Club.
And it all comes down to this: four teams… four state championship games. FC Alliance girls’ teams have absolutely brought the hammer to the Division 1 state tournament this weekend, as four of the nine teams to enter have advanced to the finals on Memorial Day. The 99 Girls Black, 97 Girls Black, 96 Girls Black and 95 Girls Black will play for state titles, making FC Alliance the sole representative from East Tennessee for the third consecutive year in Division 1 girls soccer. Furthermore, the 00 Girls Black will be playing for third place today after splitting their pool play games 2-1 and 2-1.
Having five of nine teams advance out of pool play is an impressive feat, but directors want more in the future.
"We are so proud of all of our teams who competed, they all showed very well," said Director of Coaching Josh Gray. "Next time we would like to get more teams into the finals. Some were so close this time around; next time we need to get them to push through. We’ve got great coaches and players; it’s something we can achieve."
A special nod goes to the 96 Girls Red, who competed admirably at the Division 1 level. They held a 2-1 lead over clubmates 96 Girls Black before falling 4-2. 96 Girls Black is the defending state champion.