Almost 360 BRYC boys and girls on 24 teams took to the pitch for the Herndon All Star Tournament on November 20-21. Wearing their BRYC royal blue All Star jerseys with pride (unless their opponents were from Fairfax or Burke and wearing the same color, forcing BRYC to don pinnies), four teams won tournament championship honors while four others made it to the final match before falling, earning well-deserved "finalist" trophies
Two teams earned the highest honors on Sunday. Veteran coaching duo James Sullivan and Joan Smith’s sixth seeded U13 Girls (pictured right, on Saturday,) took on third seeded McLean (MYS) in their Sunday morning contest and another higher-seeded team in the afternoon to make it to the Sunday evening finals at E.C. Lawrence Park, where they played top-seeded Prince William (PWSI). They won again, their third win of the day, to earn the Champions’ trophies.
Fred Welther’s U10 Girls (pictured left, with their trophies) did just as well. Seeded fifth after Saturday’s play with two wins and two 0-0 draws, they were full of confidence on Sunday morning, notching shutouts against fourth seeded Vienna (VYS) and top seeded Burke (BAC) before being matched against another squad from Vienna, seeded second. Winning their third game of the day against a higher seed, championship honors were well earned. It doesn’t get any better.
It was almost as sweet for two other teams. After a so-so-Saturday, Coach Doug Alcorn’s and Mac Squires’ eighth-seeded U19 Girls nonetheless earned a bye on Sunday morning before heading into second tier competition where they beat a team from Sterling (SYSC) in their opening game on Sunday afternoon. Then, under the lights at Poplar Tree Park, the hard-working girls bested a team from the Southwest Youth Association (SYA) in a penalty kick shootout to earn championship honors. Taking a slightly easier path, coach Jeff Parady’s sixth seeded U12 Boys received a Sunday morning bye before storming their way into the second tier finals at Pine Ridge where they beat a strong team from Arlington.
Faring especially well on Saturday, three BRYC squads earned first seeds at the end of the day’s action. That’s a lofty perch, on top of seven to seventeen other teams. It generally requires a team to have won or tied all its Saturday matches. It also means that all the lower-ranked teams are gunning for you on Sunday where you still have to be victorious in two or three more matches to win the tournament championship.
Two of BRYC’s number one seeds, the U11 Boys coached by Dan Lemieux and the U11 Girls coached by Dave Diaz, won their first two games on Sunday before falling to a lower seeded opponent, but received well-deserved second place "finalist" trophies for their efforts. (The third number one seed, Jon Fredricks’ U10 Girls, fell just short, losing their first game on Sunday in a heartbreaking penalty-kick shootout to a determined, aggressive, and slightly lucky Chantilly team.) Meanwhile, Coach Lou Riesco’s U13 Boys, seeded a very respectable third on Saturday, won their first two games on Sunday before falling to first-seeded Prince William, also earning finalist honors. And in the BRYC comeback story of the tournament, Stepehn Lansbury’s U9 Boys, seeded second to last after Saturday play, came back to win their first two games on Sunday before falling to a team from Herndon but earned second tier finalist honors.
Finally, lest we forget, BRYC entered four teams of U8 Boys and Girls, participating in their first tournament action for the experience and the fun of it. Kudos to all four teams, but special congratulations to the U8 Girls team coached by John Stewart who, perhaps in a BRYC first, won all seven of it’s games! There were no trophies to be earned at the U8 level, but that’s quite an accomplishment for any team and gives promise of great things in the future.
Thanks to all the All Star coaches...those mentioned here and the all the others who so generously gave of their time and talent after the season concluded for everyone else. Coaching an All Star team is both a reward and a challenge. Win or lose, we hope it was a good experience for them, and especially for the boys, girls, and their families who participated.
See you in the spring.
Ralph Schuetz, Webmaster and All Star Tournament Coordinator