Dateline: February 25, 2007 Myrtle Beach
The 96 Red team traveled to Atlanta this past weekend to participate in the Champions Division of the Concorde Fire Challenge Cup, pitting the 96s against some of the top rated teams nationally as well as regionally. In fact the first match was against the Redbulls out of Charlotte NC, ranked #1 nationally, regionally and statewise by several polls.
Playing on a very wet field to say the least, the Redbulls jumped out in front within the first 5 minutes of the match with two goals. The 96s settled down replied with two unanswered goals, the equalizer coming with 6 minutes left to play in the match. Both teams had their chances to score. However, a two back to back penal fouls just outside the 18 yard box in the last minute and a half gave the Redbulls the opportunity to go ahead. Final score was 3-2 Redbulls.
The second match followed at 4:00 pm Saturday afternoon against GSA Benifica, ranked #9 nationally, #9 regionally and #3 in Georgia. Coast jumped out front in the first five minutes utilizing "splendid movement on and off the ball" to string a series of passes resulting in three unanswered goals during the first 10 minutes of the match. It was said by one of the players later than evening that Coach Kevin commented to himself during the initial attack, "These players can really pass the ball!" However, Benefica was determined to get back in the game. They finally tied it up 3-3 in the second half, but could not move out in front. The match ended 6-4 Coast.
The final match Sunday morning drew the 96s against the 8th ranked team nationally, #8 in Region III and #2 in Georgia. Both teams battle hard on a soaked pitch that limited both teams abilities at times. Neither could maintain a lead over the other and the match ended in a 3-3 draw.
All players performed outstanding in their roles. A special thanks to Jon Yarbrough for his efforts in a very tough situation, who fought constant nausia during and dropped 10 lbs prior to the event due to a Flu virus, yet stayed on the pitch with his team for the entire event
The next competition for 96 Red will be the Jefferson Cup, March 15th and 16th.
Well done Coast 96 Red!