B14 Select coached by Dave Dengerink, went into the final of the Alaska Airlines Cup Final (playing up in the U16 Bracket) on an unprecedented 20 game winning streak. Having demolished the semi-final opponent 7-0 (with goals from Halverson X2, Emerson, Riggs, Toupin, Cullen and Buzzas), the guys had about four hours rest and preparation before heading to the final vs. MSC United, who they had beaten 3-2 in a hard fought game just the day before.
Created on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 01:53
The game started as predicted with MSC, although not technically or tactically the best team they had faced, they were certainly the most hard working and athletic team in the competition. Just as in pool play the Rush boys seemed a little rattled by the high pressure and physical nature of the game and struggled to get into any real rhythm. But it took just 15 minutes before Robert Frusina showed a touch of brilliance, by cutting in from the left side and hitting an unstoppable shot to the far upper corner.
The reaction from MSC was as expected and they upped their work rate and forced a number of errors in the defensive third, which after 30 minutes forced and error that resulted in the goal that tied up the game.
Half time, the request was to calm down, focus on technique and for a leader to step up and help settle the team down. Mike Swift was introduced (having missed the last two and half games through injury) and made an immediate impact.
After a number of close calls, including a shot of the post and two agonizingly rolling along the goal line, Jesse Riggs battled his way through the midfield to play in Zach Emerson who smashed the ball in the near post to take the lead. This took a little of the wind out of the sails of MSC and with about 8 minutes remaining, Zach went on another powerful run, and drew a foul in the box, but the ball fell nicely to Mike Swift who taking the advantage call calmly passed home to end the game.
The final whistle blew and took the B14 Select to its fourth consecutive Championship in the four events they have competed in, with an overall record of P21, W20, T1, L0. This is without a doubt the signature team of the Select Program and with a pool of players that are able to compete and beat the best U14 teams the US has to offer. This tournament they recorded a record of 4-0 scoring 27 goals in the process.
Congratulations to the coaching staff (Dave Dengerink, Nik Penn, Todd Riggs and Tim Schulz) and all the players (Ryan Moldenhauer, Kelley Walters, Sam Buzzas, Hunter Hayden, Nick Toupin, Jeron Cunningham, Nick Cullen, Dylan Greco, Payton Miller, Jesse Riggs, Riobert Frusina, Zach Emerson, Sean Halverson and Mike Swift)