Stegman’s Old Boys didn’t come home with any silverware, but that was the only downside to what is quickly becoming the premier pre-season soccer tournament in the Upper Midwest.
It was a cold day at McMurray Field, but the teams were happy (or at least not as unhappy as they thought they might be) as the snow that was predicted failed to arrive. Everyone was a whole lot happier as they approached the Northern Brewer tent to find kegs of tasty homebrew and cases of Surly Furious, Coffee Bender and Cynic.
Each bracket kicked-off at 4:00pm, with the St Cloud and Real St Croix drawing in an exciting game. While St Cloud may wonder just how they weren’t able to win the game given the chances they created, it was a good counter-attacking performance from Real and set the table for the later games.
St Cloud also couldn’t find the winner against Got Bjorn? and finished second in the group, with Got Bjorn?, who had a controlled performance against Real, moved to the finals.
On the other end, surprise package Northern FC blew past Stegman’s MRSL and Sound & Fury and met Got Bjorn? in the Recreation Bracket final. A close match went to penalties, and a close shootout was finally resolved after an incredible 10 spot kicks. Northern won the cup, and look good for promotion from MRSL Division Four on their performance.
“Northern looked good from first game to last” said Tournament Director Nick Sindt “with strong defense and a very good performance from their midfield. Worth winners, for sure.”
The competitive bracket opened with Valencia putting the hurt on Kolour, and in fact Kolour was not able to score a goal in the tournament despite some promising play, as they were also easily dispatched by Stegman’s Old Boys.
The Blues, trying to defend their title, were undone by uncharacteristic defensive lapses in a game that they shaded. Valencia moved to the final.
One the other side, Red Devils cruised through a difficult bracket that included V-Hawks and Eagle Street FC.
“It was a top pairing for the final” said Sindt.
And it was a top final match, with the Red Devils consigning Valencia to a second straight defeat in the SOB Cup final in a back-and-forth match that included some outstanding saves by the Reds goalkeeper. A fitting way to cap the tournament.
Competitive Division: 1. Red Devils 2. Valencia 3. Stegman’s Old Boys 4. V-Hawks 5. Eagle Street FC 6. Kolour
Recreational Division: 1. Northern FC 2. Got Bjorn? 3. St Cloud FC 4. Sound & Fury 5. Stegman’s MRSL 6. Real St Croix