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SPORTS AUTHORITY STATE CUP COMES TO A CLOSE, CROWNS SIX MORE CHAMPIONS - VIDEO RECAP

May 11, 2016

Another edition of the Sports Authority State Cup has come and gone, and last Sunday, it crowned its last champions in the 2016 Presidents Cup Division at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif.

Since the start of the tournament in late January, 42 teams have earned the top honor in their respective age, category and division, battling through some of the fiercest competition for the coveted trophy.

For CVSC Madrid, competing one final year in the Sports Authority State Cup in the Boys Under 19 category was extra special. Not only was it going to be their last chance to earn the championship, but it would be a reward for the previous three attempts to do so in State Cup, and one attempt at National Cup. This was their year.

“Last year we didn’t play for six or seven months, and now that we’ve been back, I thought it would be difficult for us because we didn’t have that much practice, but we did it,” said coach Luis Santiago after the game. “We are one united team.”

Like CVSC Madrid, the Slammers Girls Under 19 team was also aging out of the competition. With most of its players moving on to college, some are choosing to continue their collegiate soccer career. For those opting to not continue playing soccer, coach Krissy Grana wanted their final competitive soccer memory to be a great one.

As the Sunday morning game rolled on and a 6-2 scoreboard closed out in favor of Slammers, one would say that the team created the best soccer memory for their close out.

“This [championship] means a lot. I’ve had these girls for about six years and a lot of them had college offers but have decided to not continue their soccer careers,” coach Grana said. “A lot of them have had heartbreaking high school seasons, so it was a big deal for us to be able to collect and comeback and to end on top.”

As many Sports Authority State Cup participants experienced, every team would play at the highest intensity until the final whistle, some looking to equalize and extend the game, while others waited anxiously for the game to end.

Last Sunday, the Hemet Juventus Girls Under 17 team felt confident as they took a 3-0 lead over FC Golden State. However, FCGS pushed until the very last second to find the breakthrough goal that would help them equalize, keeping Hemet at the edge of their seats. It was until Hemet Juventus found the back of the net near the end of the match that helped them breathe easier. 

“[FC Golden State] got two quick goals, we were kind of sweating there for about 30 minutes, and we finally got a goal there in the end that put it away,” beamed coach Eric Ballard. “Overall I think both teams did great and did a good job.

“It’s definitely a special one,” he added.

Although the tournament has come to a close, champions in the Presidents Division U13-U17 age groups will now have to prepare to represent Cal South in the upcoming 2016 US Youth Soccer Region IV Presidents Cup Regionals in Arvada, Colo., tournament that runs from June 14-19.

For some teams, this might be the second or third time participating in the tournament, while for West Covina FC this will be a new experience that they are ready to take on.

“Going to Colorado is going to be a new experience for us. Most importantly, we’re going to practice a lot more, a lot harder, and tell the guys that if we can do it here [in State Cup], we can represent California and Cal South, showing with pride that California has the best teams,” assistant coach Salvador Zamora finalized.