The SOCA Challenge program is unique in the youth soccer landscape in that it provides an elevated level of team play completely within a particular locality. Teams are almost entirely formed from players who live in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Teams train and compete with one another for an entire year within local confines, and at the end of the spring season, venture outside of the area to compete in various tournaments throughout the state of Virginia. Tournament play provides Challenge players with an opportunity to compete against teams from other communities and begin to form an understanding of the greater soccer world. Results can be mixed for teams, but in general the tournament experience provides an exciting and challenging experience.
This year, of the fifty-four Challenge teams in the program, twenty-seven finished their tournament experience in the semifinals or better. Ten teams were division champions, and an additional twelve finished in the runner-up position. A list of the finalists sorted by event is shown below.
Challenge coordinator summed up the tournament results by saying, “The overall results suggest that the Challenge Program is developing an impressively large pool of talented soccer players in our area. When you compare the population of the Charlottesville area with those of Richmond, Northern Virginia, or Tidewater areas, with whom we compete in these events, ours is much smaller. Additionally, most Challenge age groups are divided into ten or more teams. We often end up competing against Travel teams formed from much larger recruiting areas, while our Challenge team may be formed out of a small locality such as the Ivy area or the Cale school district for example. When you couple these results with our highly successful travel program, I think it adds up to something that is really worth celebrating.”
Congratulations to all Challenge players on completing another great Challenge year. Please visit our facebook page for some images taken from these tournaments.
VSTC Autumn Challenge
Champion – R28 White Galaxy
Champion – R23 Purple Impact, F24 Sky Blue
Finalist – R20 Yellow Crew
Finalist – R21 Orange Dynamo, F41 Orange Dynamo
Finalist – F20 Yellow Blaze. R39 Maroon Rapids, R42 Red Fire
VA Soccer Festival
Champion – R22 Red Fire, R24 Sky Sounders, R2B Silver Whitecaps, F29 Maroon Surge, R31 Orange Dynamo, R32 Red Fire, F38 White Breakers
Finalist – R2A Royal Eathquakes, R29 Maroon Rapids, F26 Black Lions, F35 Green Thorns, R40 Yellow Crew, F45 Green Thorns