Vienna Thunder Gold, Herndon United, and Herndon Hurricanes Black come home with silverware from Capital Fall Classic
Three Total Futbol teams competed in the Capital Fall Classic, hosted by Richmond Strikers November 16-17, 2013.  The teams, Vienna Thunder Gold, Herndon United, and Herndon Hurricanes Black, all competed in the Premier bracket of the tournament.  Champions of the Premier bracket are guaranteed acceptance to the next Jefferson Cup.  With that in mind, the groups entered the weekend anxious to prove themselves versus some quality opponents.
Thunder Gold started off their weekend versus Central Virginia United White.  The CVU girls defended well but Gold was able to get the better of them with a 1-0 win.  Things clicked much more efficiently for Vienna in the second match where they played FC Richmond Mystx.  Vienna cruised to a 3-0 win which left them with a slight edge over their Sunday morning opponents, Pennsylvania Rush ’98, in the standings.
With both teams very much in contention for the spot in the Championship game, Sunday’s game vs. PA Rush was very closely contested.  Gold repeated their first game result from the day before, winning 1-0 and clinching the spot in the final.  Their opponent there would be Lake Grove Newfield Tsunami from New York.  They won their half of the bracket by going undefeated in their preliminary games and not giving up a goal in the process.  Vienna’s possession oriented attack broke that streak in the final, where Gold prevailed 2-0 to win the Championship and guarantee a return trip to Richmond in March!
Herndon United began the weekend against Shenandoah Valley United.  Winning 4-0 in that match got the team the maximum possible points in the standings and set them up at the top of their bracket to begin the game.  The team’s second game versus Soccer Vision Academy from Ohio saw them nearly repeat the score line by winning 3-0, and coupled with other results within the group guaranteed them a spot in the finals.  Despite Sunday morning’s game versus Virginia Legacy Phoenix not carrying meaning within the standings, United still performed well and got another shutout win, this time with a score of 2-0.
United’s opponent in the finals, Beadling Bombers, came with a similar set of results from the preliminary games.  Beadling is always a tough club to play against and this group is no exception.  They were champions of the Region 1 Colonial League in the spring and have a very strong resume.  United began the game on the front foot with 2 goals from Layne in the first half.  Carrying the 2-0 lead into the second half, Herndon continued to pressure relentlessly but couldn’t get another.  This caused some drama late as Beadling were awarded a penalty kick with 15 minutes to go that they converted to pull within one.  Some high pressure from the Bombers ensued, and it wasn’t until the closing seconds when Jess made a stellar save on a long free kick that the result was secured.  The girls finished the weekend with 11 goals scored and only conceded once from the penalty spot en route to another tournament championship.
Hurricanes Black entered the weekend knowing that they would face stern competition.  Loudoun and Richmond Strikers’ first teams awaited them in their group.  Black began the games versus Loudoun Red in a game that ended in a 0-0 tie but could have seen either team score up to about 4 goals.  Some fantastic goalkeeping on both sides combined with shots off the woodwork and excellent defensive stops all combined to keep both teams off of the board in a wide-open game.  The Hurricanes came into their second game against knowing that with the result of the Loudoun/Richmond game that a draw would get them into the semifinals the next day.  The game didn’t start well for the girls, as Richmond scored early to take a 1-0 lead.  After settling into a rhythm, Black scored the next 3 goals to take a commanding lead.  The Strikers were able to pull another goal back late in the contest, but the win was secured and Herndon was through to the next round.
Sunday morning saw a semifinal game for the Hurricanes against SYA’s top team.  After dealing with some early pressure, Black put in a scrappy chance off of a corner kick.  The halftime score stood at 1-0 and the goal gave the girls confidence in the big game.  The second half couldn’t have gone much better for the girls.  The team did a fantastic job defensively when they didn’t have the ball and limited the chances on their end.  Their play in the attacking part of the field was just as sharp, as the second half saw the girls pound 3 balls in the back of the net to take a commanding 4-0 lead.  That’s how the game would finish and the girls were on to the Championship where they would have a rematch with Loudoun.  Unfortunately for the Hurricanes the result wouldn’t be on their side in that match.  The girls had a couple quality chances to score early but didn’t convert.  Their opponent was able to get one shortly afterward and seized the momentum for most of the match.  The Hurricanes were disappointed to not come away champions but all in all had an excellent weekend in Richmond.