OKLAHOMA CITY - West Side Alliance S.C. had another strong showing at the 2010 Oklahoma State Cup this past month. WSA 94 boys, WSA 92 boys, and WSA 94 girls all advanced to the semifinal stage. Several other teams had strong showings, but did not advance. Click here to read more....
WSA 94 BOYS, WSA 94 GIRLS, WSA 92 BOYS ADVANCE AT STATE
After sending three teams to the state finals in 2009 expectations were high for this year’s State Cup for WSA. The Side did not disappoint as several teams turned in superb performances, including three teams that advanced.
The WSA 94 boys would win their first two games on Saturday of the tournament to secure their semifinal spot. They would then meet TSC 94, the defending champions, on Sunday in a group game that they hoped would be a prelude to the final. TSC earned two penalty kicks, one less than 60 seconds in and one in injury time to upend WSA 94, but both teams would advance to the semis. However, considering circumstances of having a man sent off, playing shorthanded for 35 minutes, and creating several chances to level the game, the WSA 94 boys’ left the weekend with strong faith in their chances of still reaching the state final. They would meet Norman Celtic 94 in the state semifinal, and after failing to protect three different leads, the team would give away a goal 5 minutes into the first overtime to lose 4-3 and end their state cup run. WSA led 1-0, then led 2-1, then led again in the 2nd half 3-2 until the final 60 seconds of the match when Celtic stole a goal and forced overtime. The state tournament run was a defining moment for a team that entered the event as a longshot, and wound up becoming one of the state's top contenders.
The WSA 92 boys would find their form late in the tournament, after cruising to two first day wins in a bit less than top form, nonetheless securing their semifinal spot. However, after leading Norman Celtic 92 2-0, the most critical moment of the tournament may have been a defensive lapse with only 20 minutes to play that allowed Celtic to draw back to 2-1, and eventually to tie the game at 2-2. The tie meant WSA would face Edmond 92, their old rival, in the semifinals. Edmond 92 was the team who had beaten WSA in the 2009 State Final in penalties, and also beaten them 2-2 in the 2008 State Semis. Hoping this year would be their year the 92 boys, playing without key players Johnny Chavez and Marvin Escalante, showed true grit after trailing most of the match 1-0, to level the score off a Sammie Duininck header. The game would go to overtime, but WSA would give away a goal late in the 2nd overtime and would be eliminated for the third consecutive year by ESC 92. WSA coaches commended Marco Hernandez who played on an injured ankle in the semifinal and named him man of the match. The game marked the end of the careers of the senior-laden team. "But we'll be back next Spring," promised coach Ryan Bush, referring to the team's final chance as u19's.
The WSA 94 girls returned to the State Semifinals where they last made an appearance in their 2007 campaign. The road to the semis was an emotional roller coaster. WSA played TSC 94, one of the tournament favorites to a tough 2-0 decision. They would then take on another tough opponent in Norman Fury, and much like the WSA 94 boys, the 94 girls were unable to protect two different leads in a game that eventually ended at 3-3. Still alive in the tournament the 94 girls would come from behind in their third game to win 3-1 against OFC 94 White. After Norman dropped their contest to TSC and all tiebreakers were level the 94 girls would go to penalties to seal their fate in the semis by defeating Norman due the heroics of WSA goalkeeper Taylor Bennett! WSA would meet heavily favored OFC 94 Black in the semis the following weekend. After a stifling defensive effort for 35 minutes, the team would take a 0-0 draw to halftime. In the 60th minute OFC would get their first of 3 tallies on the afternoon to eliminate WSA 94 girls after an excellent run.
WSA 94 Girls Excited After Advancing to State Semis!
The WSA 93 boys Red was eliminated for the second consecutive year due to goal difference after winning twice and losing 5-3 to Norman, a team who they led 2-0. Failing to protect leads, normally not a problem for West Side teams, became the club’s achilles heel in Oklahoma City during the state cup tournament.
The WSA 97 boys Red, WSA 98 boys, WSA 96 boys red, WSA 93 girls, and WSA 98 girls Red, all had good showings on the weekend. A few teams had unlucky draws, but according to WSA Staff coaches all teams played valiantly. "Our proudest moment is when our kids character shines through during competition," reported WSA Director of Coaching Roger Bush. Blue-collar and hard nosed football was on display for "the side" during and throughout the tournament. While WSA did not have quite the showing of a year ago, the coaching staff noted that more teams turned in competitive and promising results. Looking forward already to the 2011 run, many teams have their sights set on taking things "one step farther" next year.