The IMG Academy in Sarasota hosted the Super Y Nationals this past weekend, featuring three OCYS purple teams. The U16 girls, U14 and U12 boys teams all traveled down south with hopes of competing for a national championship. The OCYS possession oriented style of play was evident from the beginning of the tournament.
The U12 boys’ team qualified for Nationals by playing a rigourous schedule throughout the summer and, as a result of winning their group, were seeded first in the National draw. The U12’s spent the entire month of November preparing for Nationals and began the tournament with a strong start, winning their first game against Southern Soccer Academy in a 6-2 rout. Their remaining games in the group stage would prove to be much closer than the first, as expected, but the boys still managed to record clean sheets, resulting in a 1-0 win against Washington FC and a 3-0 victory against Central Jersey Spartans.
After their astounding victories against top opponents in group play, the U12’s would go on to lose a highly contested 3-2 match against Alpharetta Ambush in the semi-finals. The U12’s outpossessed the Ambush for the majority of the match but were unable to take advantage of their chances. Junior Boys’ Director Craig Melton belives that this trip was a great learning experience and growing process for the team as a whole.
"We went to Sarasota with hopes of winning a national championship, and even though we fell a lilttle short of that, the boys possessed the ball extremely well and really portrayed the way we like to play at OCYS," said Melton.
The U14 boys’ team played against tough competiton and were unable to advance out of their group, but were still impressive in regards to their style of play. The U14’s never broke their system and their continuous efforts at moving the ball fluidly was vividly apparent. The boys recorded a win, tie, and a loss finishing third in a very tough group.
The U16 girls’ team also had strong group play, finishing second in their group with wins against Quickstrike FC and Lightning Soccer Club. The girls heavily outpossessed their opponents and were quick to impress college coaches on hand with their fluid and effective style of play. As a result of that, the U16’s advanced from the group stages and also moved on to the semifinal, losing a close 1-0 match against New York Magic.
"I met with several college coaches that were at Nationals and they informed me that they spotted the OCYS style of play from the beginning of tournament," said Melton. They were all very impressed and loved the fact that our teams were continously focusing on possessing the ball and trying to make the correct decisions, which is a core part of our philosophy."
Congratulations to all of our Super Y teams who had a great weekend!