This past weekend marked a historic day for the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club as they were able to capture their first state championship since becoming the Virginia Legacy in 2006. The last team from the Peninsula to win a Virginia Youth Soccer Championship was the Williamsburg SC Wizards in 2005. Since that time the Legacy has placed multiple teams into the state semi-finals and championship match but the U17 Elite Boys are now the first to turn the feat. Technical Director and U17 Head Coach Bobby O'Brien had this to say - "Its a great day for the Virginia Legacy. To not only have 2 teams represented this weekend in the Final 4 (U17 and U18 Boys) but to be able to get over that hurdle and bring home a championship to the Peninsula is a testament to the work ethic all our teams and coaches possess at Legacy, this is a club achievement."
Those sentiments are primarily because based on the Virginia Legacy's developmental philosophy teams begin to peak at the older ages. Through coaching and the environments that players are placed - it fosters a growth that is hard to see at a young age through results. "This team at U12, U13 and U14 rarely won a game and was average as a team but that doesnt cause us to stray from our methods. We know if we teach them the right foundations at an early age that once the players develop mentally and physically they will have the tools to compete with the best at the most crucial time (U16-U18). We have seen this for years and now it has reached its pinnacle" says O'Brien. The U17 Elite was one of the first teams under the Virginia Legacy umbrella when it changed its name in 2006 - starting out as a U10 group.
Heading into the State Cup Final 4 Weekend - the U17 Elite had conceded only 1 goal in the first 3 matches of the state competition that is a single elimination event played over 2 months. This trend continued; on Saturday they defeated SOCA (Charlottesville) 1-0 on a goal by Max Poelker (York HS). SOCA was last years runners up and were the Club Champions League Champions last year - the top league in the state - Legacy finished 2nd. On Sunday, Legacy took the field against the heavily favored Arlington Impact. Arlington were the 2 time defending state champions and defeated Legacy 4-1 the year before in league play - however this was a new Legacy team a year later with an even better understanding of the game and how to compete. Legacy was able to shut down the high powered team from Northern Va and after regulation & overtime (120 minutes) they were deadlocked at 0-0. Penalty kicks were going to decide the Virginia State Championship.
After 5 kickers a piece the scored was tied at 4, each team missed a kick early. From then on it would be sudden death - kicker after kicker made it until they reached the 11th rd. All field players had taken their penalties already and it was down to each teams Goalkeepers.
Click here to read more from Potomac Soccers Coverage - http://www.soccerwire.com/news/ccl-teams-highlight-va-state-cup-championships-with-late-game-heroics/
Click here to read more coverage from the Soccer Wire - http://www.soccerwire.com/news/youth-boys/boys-champions-crowned-at-2014-virginia-youth-state-cup-finals/?loc=psw
Click here to read more coverage from the Daily Press and HR Sports - http://www.dailypress.com/sports/highschool/dp-spt-virginia-legacy-1108-20141107-story.html