September 6, 2015 — What a weekend! Our 0-Fivers team, fresh off an extended summer campaign to learn the tactical nuances of the 8v8 game, got their first bonafide test and passed with flying colors! In the first of what will be many premier tournament appearances, the boys came home as champions, lifting the cup for the Premier Silver division of the Lou Ramos Classic 2015.
Moreover, the boys did it wearing pink jerseys to both bring attention to breast cancer and honor a dear friend.
The 0-Fivers opened the weekend with a convincing 6-2 win against Montgomery United Ajax, an ICSL Division 1 team. No sooner had the refree blown his whistle, the boys put their skills on display, and quickly proved to be too much for MonU to handle.
With one game in hand, the 0-Fivers took up the challenge against Coventry FC Hotspurs, a Delco Division 2 team. The boys felt confident after their earlier win, but their sluggish pregame warm-up foreshadowed a flat first half that put the 0-Fivers in a deep 4-1 hole at halftime.
Always a resilient bunch—the boys weathered many a storm during their academy days—the Fivers were undeterred and came out swinging for the second half. If you hadnt before seen the fight in this group, you would have seen all of it in the second half, as they clawed their way back to not only tie the game at 4-all, but take a 5-4 lead. However, with seconds left, the 0-Fivers were chasing one of Coventrys forwards on a fast break and committed an ill-timed foul 25 yards from goal. Coventry took the direct kick and scored, then the final whistle quickly followed. UNLUCKY…but it could have been much worse considering the 0-Fivers first half performance.
The 0-Fivers faced Delaware Rush 05 Black to start the second and last day of tournament play. From the first whistle to the last, the Fivers showcased combination play and a nearly impregnable defense, going on to win 7-2 and earning themselves a spot in the finals. With a whopping five hours before the finale, and an important lesson learned a day earlier about rest and recovery, the boys went home to rest in anticipation of meeting a quality Harleysville Hotspurs opponent in the final.
Having just played a friendly together two weeks prior, there was a familiarity and sportmanship among the teams that even led to the boys sitting together to watch a portion of the match that preceded their final. However, once their own match got underway, the competitive spirit of both teams kicked and the Harleysville side struck quickly at the 10 mark. Unfazed and calm, having been down more just a day earlier, the Fivers tallied a quick response and added two more, ultimately finishing the half up 3-1.
With a two-goal lead in hand, the focus area for the second half were quality defense and an aggressive, possession-oriented offense: just their style. Harleysville proved to be every bit as fast and aggressive as expected, creating many opportunities for themselves, but unable to complete that final pass. The 0-Fivers had held them off, winning the championship final by a score of 3-1.
Congratulations, boys! The coaches and parents are extremely proud of the effort you put in for each game...and it certainly paid dividends!