July 8, 2018

USPSA Cups Round Up; Minnesota Teams Struggle

Michael L. Sack
MK Battery Conference Cup Series

The 2018 MK Battery Conference Cup Series, hosted by Power Soccer Development Group came to an end on July 1. It was a grand weekend at Turnstone's Plassman Athletic Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Despite the Minnesota teams not getting the outcome that they had hoped for, they tried their best at making the experience a positive one. More on that later, but first: the nutshell results of each of the four power soccer tournaments from the bottom division on up.

Founders Cup: The championship match took place on June 30 with San Jose Flash in a match-up against Central Valley, out of California. The game was close throughout, but in the end, San Jose Flash came up victorious by a 2-1 margin. For third place, Wisconsin upended the San Jose Rockets 4-1.

Presidents Cup: On June 30, a back-and-forth affair occurred as the title game between Chippewa Valley and Arizona was very offensive minded. Both teams kept scoring, with a seasoned Arizona team outlasting the Hooligans 8-6. Brooks Barracudas, from Florida, captured third by defeating Missouri's River City Phoenix three to nil.

Champions Cup: The final was between DASA from St. Louis, Missouri and Ball State out of Muncie, Indiana on July 1. Ball State played solid defense and captured the crown with a 2-0 result. Massachusetts' PRHC Chariots went out and beat BORP out of Berkeley, California, 2-1 to capture the third position.

Premier Cup: On July 1, a grueling last game between two Indiana teams commenced. It was a tilt that had Turnstone going up against RHI Sudden Impact. RHI squeaked out the championship clincher by a score of 3-2. Circle City Rollers, also from Indiana, came in third when they defeated CNY United four to one.

As the Premier Cup was in its final stages, two teams from Minnesota ended up playing each other for fifth place. When the game clock ticked to the 40-minute mark on the last day, the Magic had shut out Shockwave 5-0. It was surly a discouraging last game as these teams had loftier goals going into their tourney.

Meanwhile for the Northern Lights, their quest for the Champions Cup took a hit when they went 1-3 in pool play. Except for a 4-1 loss to PRHC, all of their games were nail-biters. Unfortunately, the team earned a spot in the consolation round, which was played Sunday. In their first match of the day, Minnesota was victors against Boston by a score of one to nothing.

The Northern Lights' final game against Atlanta Sting, which was to secure seventh, was crazy! In the first half, the referee tossed an Atlanta coach from the game for arguing. At the end of regulation, both teams had scored a goal. Early in the second overtime, Minnesota scored, setting them up for a victory. But, inexcusably, the referee called a foul on them with a second remaining. Atlanta pounded the penalty kick in, so the game continued on.

Teams started getting anxious as three yellow cards were given - one of those being on me, when in the fifth overtime, I started pushing the goalie a little too hard, desperately trying to send the crowd home. The 10-minute sudden death frames kept ticking on with both teams trying to find any way to score. Finally, in the 7th overtime and in the 102nd minute, the Northern Lights managed to push the 13-inch ball across the line for the 3-2 win. That was some game, since it lasted a few minutes more than a professional soccer game does!

The USPSA and Power Soccer Development Group yet again put on a memorable event, one of which won't soon be forgotten. The conference cups conclude the 2017-2018 USPSA season. Congratulations to all players on your performances!

And for my last game, although I didn't score, it was a really fun one to play in!

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