The Reston Cyclones (shown above in photo by Jessica Sanderson) scored nine goals and let in just two on their way to winning the Arlington Spring Invitational.
Two Reston boys teams coached by Total Futbol won two different tournaments over the March 5-6 weekend to kick off the spring season in triumphant style. The Reston Cyclones won the U13 Elite bracket of the Arlington Spring Invitational Soccer Tournament (ASIST) and Reston City FC won the U17 High School Blue bracket of the Liberty Cup Invitational.
U13 Reston Cyclones Win Arlington Invitational
The Cyclones, coached by Total Futbol's Matt Lee, have developed a knack for turning in great performances at tournaments: in 2015, they were Champions at the Capital Fall Classic and Finalists at the OBGC Capital Cup. Their league play has been equally stellar - last Fall they ended up in second place of NCSL Division 4 after losing by a single goal to the eventual Champions (if the game had been a draw, the Cyclones would have won the division due to their superior offensive stats). As a result, the team was promoted up two divisions for this spring and will play in NCSL's U13 Division 2. Their performance at the prestigious ASIST was anticipated as a test of the team's preparedness to compete at a higher level.
By midday Sunday of the tournament weekend, the Cyclones had emerged on top of their group with two shutout wins against Arlington SA Barca White (3-0) and SOCA 02-03 BE (2-0), and one early morning heartbreaker, a 1-2 loss to the Bowie Bulldogs. Facing FCV Ashburn Legends 02 Gold in the championship match, the Cyclones dug deep and pulled out a 3-1 victory. Here is a description of the exciting final from parent Dave Cassidy:
The game flowed back and forth, with Ashburn exerting early control. But in the 24th minute, the Cyclones' slick passing paid off when Niko Cornell capitalized on a great pass from Ryan Jammes to make a powerful run and shot into the opposition net. Going into half-time at 1-0 ahead kept confidence and tensions high.
At the start of the second half, the Cyclones kept control of the ball, building play patiently and keeping the defense solid. In the 46th minute, Niko again broke free into space, dribbling half the field to make it 2-0 with a confident finish. Realizing they had less than 15 minutes to claw back two goals against a defense that had conceded just twice all tournament, Arlington turned up the heat. In the 51st minute, they played a direct ball through the middle and put it away. It was 2-1 with less than nine minutes remaining.
The game became schizophrenic, with Ashburn pushing forward and the Cyclones continuing to play patient soccer. In the 55th minute, a shot from distance was arrowing into the top-left corner when Cyclones goalkeeper Altan Murray stunningly clawed it away and made a tremendous follow-up clearance. The save proved to be a decisive moment in the game.
In the 58th minute Cyclones center-back Drew Mouritzen lofted a ball over the top for Carter Berg to latch onto. Carter, who scored a hat-trick in the first game of the tournament, sped away from the defense, pulled the ball back onto his right foot and bent a beautiful shot into the bottom-right corner, past the outstretched dive of the 'keeper. With a 3-1 victory against superb opponents, the Cyclones were honored to meet Chris Korb of DC United as they collected the tournament trophy.
A Reston Cyclone (in blue, surrounded by a sea of white jerseys) in action at the Arlington Spring Invitational Tournament. Photo Credit: Jessica Sanderson.
U17 Reston City FC Defend Liberty Cup Title
Reston City FC, coached by Total Futbol's Randall Bolanos (Head Coach) and Dan Merold (Assistant Coach), rolled in to the U17 High School Blue bracket of the Liberty Cup Invitational as defending Champions. Last year, they took home the top hardware from this tournament, so expectations were high. The squad did not disappoint. On the first day of the tournament, the boys shut out McLean's 99 Boys White 2-0 but had a scoreless tie against SAC Premier. Day two began with a 5-1 drubbing of Vienna's FC Elite Black followed by a rematch with SAC to crown the Champion. But Reston rallied to redeem themselves, posting a 2-0 shutout against the same team they had drawn on Saturday. Once again, they went home Champions.
Reston City FC (shown above) scored nine goals and conceded one on their way to becoming repeat Champions of the Liberty Cup Invitational March 5-6.