Sunday, November 2 -- Like a proud parent announcing the birth of his first child, U16/19 League Director Mac Squires called the webmaster moments after the final whistle blew to announce that "DANGER!", coached by BRYC Recreational Soccer's own League Commissioner James Sullivan, had just won the final game of the championship playoffs of the 14-team HSGHSL (High School Girls House Soccer League) by a score of 1-0, netting the only goal of the game in the final minute of regulation time. After marching through the regular season with a record of 8-1-1, including seven shutouts among its eight victories, DANGER! had won it's semi final game against BRYC's own 4th seeded "She Devils" a day earlier by the same 1-0 score as their tight defense, which had allowed only five goals in ten games regular season games, held two more opponents scoreless.
From writing about their accomplishments for many years, the webmaster knows that no game is taken any more seriously than a game between the two finalist teams and their coaches who have "grown up" playing against each other since they met as U13/14s and possibly before, so a win in the championship game meant more than just a season ending championship trophy. It means bragging rights! Congratulations to Sullivan's girls, as well as the She Devils, coached by Squires and Deputy Commissioner Doug Alcorn. Congratulations are also due to coach Josh Rock and his girls for being the only one of fourteen teams all season to notch a victory against either the DANGER! or SYC squads....and they did it against both of them!
Now, for a completely different "insiders" perspective on the championship game, click "Continue" below.
The Little Engine That... DID!
A Bedtime Soccer Story by coach joan
It was a chilly night in West Springfield High School stadium when Jim Miller's SYC team met BRYC DANGER! , coached by James Sullivan.
DANGER! came out with spirit. They started the game with a lot of fire. But toward the half, SYC began pressing, and put BRYC back on their heels. Still, it was a very evenly matched game, with the vast majority played in the middle of the field. Both teams fought so hard for control of the ball. The second half was the same.
The defense for both teams played very strong games. Cassidi M. and Kelly E. at center defense for DANGER!, ran down every SYC ball that broke through. Alex S., in goal for BRYC stopped everything that came her way. The SYC goalie was ALMOST perfect... until the last 45 seconds of the game when BRYC had a flurry in front of the SYC goal, and Emma Y. sent the ball to the back of the net.
This was the icing on the cake of a great season for DANGER! The BRYC team has always finished with a winning season since aging up to the HS Girl's league 2 years ago, but never finished in the top 4. This was the first time, and the team was excited just to be in there.
BRYC had not won the HS Girl's League in 13 seasons. And in those 13 seasons, Coach Miller's team had won the HS Girl's League an impressive 6 times.
The DANGER!ous girls knew they were the underdog. But Coach James told them what he always tells them, "Go out and play a clean game to the best of your ability, and you will always walk off the field a winner whether the numbers show it or not. There is no shame in losing if you know you did everything you could, played your hardest, gave it your all. We will always be proud of you if we see that you did all those things."
And that's what they did. Every one of those DANGER!ous girls put their whole heart into the game.
And when the whistle blew, they were no longer the little engine that could. They were the little engine that did!
That night when they went to bed, the gold twinkles they saw as they nodded off to sleep were not the night stars, they were reflections of moonlight off a golden trophy shaped like a soccer girl, and under their pillows... a gold medal. And the DANGER!ous girls went to bed dreaming of a chilly fall night under the bright stadium lights, their best friends and family all around them, a goal scored in the last seconds...
... and spring season.