There's nothing like spending Veterans Day weekend around the D.C. area... especially if you come home with a trophy like the RDA East's 2006 Girls.
The 06 East Girls breezed through to the final of their division at the Nation's Capital Cup in Fairfax, Virginia, and they captured the championship with a hard-fought, 1-0 win over Juventus Academy Boston to highlight the weekend's Academy action.
The victorious RDA East side topped their three-team group with lopsided wins of 5-0 and 7-0, and the team also posted a 7-0 win in the semifinals against Calvert SA (Md.). Buckling down for a tighter match than they had seen all weekend, the girls managed to come out on top against another organized and talented group to get what the coaches called a "well-deserved win."
The 2007 East Girls had a chance to emulate their elders by reaching the final in their division, but unlike the 06 side, the team suffered a setback in their group, falling 1-0 to Maryland SC after two Saturday wins. In the final, it was the same Maryland team waiting for the RDA squad, and while the Hounds took an early lead to be the first team to score on Maryland SC, the single goal wasn't enough in a 2-1 defeat.
Those two sides would be the only finalists out of a mixed group of competing teams from the club that ranged from the older East sides to the 2010 Girls and 2007 RDA II Girls out of Pittsburgh.
On the boys' side, the RDA East also produced a finalist at the Columbia Fall Classic in Maryland.
The 2007 East Boys scored wins of 7-0 and 4-0 on the opening day, but Sunday proved to be a big mental test. Battling the host club from Ellicott City, the 07 East Boys created numerous chances, only to watch each one go by the wayside.
Finally, the Hounds were able to put one home to snag a 1-0 win and book their place in the final. The second match of the day proved to be too much after three good performances, as the RDA boys were topped by a strong St. Mary's (Md.) club, 6-1.
Sunday, Nov. 10
At the Nations Capital Cup:
• The 06 East Girls took their division's crown with a 1-0 win in the final over Juventus Academy Boston, as they finally broke through in the first defensive struggle they faced all weekend. It was a "well-deserved win," according to the coaches, who were happy to see the girls grind out the title after cruising past their earlier opposition, which included a 7-0 win in the semifinals over Calvert (Md.).
• The 07 East Girls had to feel like it was a bit of déjà vu on their second day. After falling 1-0 to Maryland SC in their round robin match, the team still advanced to the final against... Maryland SC. The Hounds took a lead in the championship game, becoming the first team to score on their opponents all tournament. But a fast front line gave the Hounds problems in both matches, and the Marylanders took a 2-1 win, despite the RDA East girls battling to the end in search of a tying goal.
At the Columbia Fall Classic:
• With a chance to win their group, the 07 East Boys couldn't seem to get a chance to go in against the hosts from Ellicott City (Md.). The team kept their heads up and showed enough heart to finally punch home a winner and go 3-0-0 in the group with a 1-0 win. The final pitted the boys against a good St. Mary's (Md.) side, and perhaps the earlier match took its toll, as the Hounds fell to a 6-1 defeat in the championship game.
• The 08 East Boys played what amounted to a winner-take-all match to end group play against Alexandria (Va.). The opponents had a physical advantage, but both teams created chances going forward. Unfortunately, Alexandria was able to find a second goal where the Hounds could not, and the Virginia side advanced to the final with a 2-1 win. Despite the loss, the 08 East Boys finished the weekend 1-1-1 and were praised by the coaches for their growth and for putting together three solid matches on the weekend.
• The 09 East Boys were out of contention for the final, but they produced another tough effort trying to control play against a team playing over the top with speed. As it turned out, the 09 East Boys only fell by a single goal, 2-1, to a Central Carroll (Md.) team that clinched the group and went on to win the title in their division.
Saturday, Nov. 9
At the Nations Capital Cup:
• The 10 Girls tied McLean, 3-3. The team played tremendously, but a couple offside calls took away a couple additional tallies.
• In a big 7-0 win over Maryland Rush Montgomery, the 06 East Girls used great ball movement and pattern play to victory. They followed up this win with another victory, 5-0, against Potomic Blue in one of their best showings of the year.
• After a slow first half, the 07 East Girls improved their play in the second stanza en route to a 1-0 win against Pasadena.
• The 07 Girls II fell in a close one to Carlisle, 1-0. Despite the loss, the team showed improvement throughout the match, notably with strong movement throughout the backline. The squad later lost to Herndon YSA, 4-1, despite a solid showing in the second half.
At the Columbia Fall Classic:
• The 09 East Boys tied Cokeysville, 1-1. After falling behind 1-0 at the half, the team played hard en route to notching an equalizer in the second half. In their next matchup, they fell 5-1 to SDFC, however the squad led for most of the first half.
• The 07 East Boys scored a couple of big wins. They defeated Alexandria, 7-0, and Barca Academy, 4-0.
• Posting a tie and a win, the 08 East Boys played great soccer. The squad showed great energy in a 2-0 win against Montgomery MSI Academy and showed the same energy in a tough-fought 0-0 draw against Brazilian United.