They say it isn't how you start, it is how you finish. The beginning of the Fall 2013 season was kind to some FC Alliance squads and tough on others. However, to close out the coldest month of the outdoor year, a long list of teams earned medals and trophies. Especially glorious were the titles earned by the 04 Boys Black 2 and 05 Girls Black. Both squads have improved exponentially as the season has unfolded, and the hard work of players and coaches paid off in a huge way at the CESA Fall Challenge.
Both teams earned championships behind two strong coaches: Lisa Nix (04 Boys) and Junior Santos (05 Girls). Nix's team earned their title by shutting out every single opponent in the tournament. They recorded and impressive 3-0 championship game win over FSA Flame. Santos and his crew captured a championship crown by winning four straight, including a 3-2 thriller over host CESA in the finals.
Also impressive at CESA was Coach Elaine Roth's 04 and 03 Girls Black. Both squads were finalists. The 04 Girls Black finished second in a five-team round robin featuring some powerhouse teams, including Concorde Fire and Atlanta United of Georgia, host team CESA Black, and a South Carolina/Mount Pleasant merger team. The 03 Girls didn't disappoint, either. They knocked off both CESA and CSA Predator before coming short against Atlanta Fire United.
If you rewind a week, three FC Alliance teams captured titles at the Crossbar Classic in Knoxville. 04 Boys Black played up to the top bracket of the U11 division and took the championship with a 4-2 win over Georgia's Southern Soccer Academy. The 03 Boys Black 2 also played up into the U12 division and won three straight games before taking down the host team 3-1 in the final. Coach John Giles 05 Boys Cowan team won three straight games over local rivals KSA, Knoxville Crush and Inter United before heavy storms hit. By virtue of having an unbeaten record, they were declared champions.
Another team with a great late season result was Jeff Wolfenbarger's 01 Girls Red. They captured finalist honors at the Under Armour Classic. A week later, another U12 team made a stellar tournament run: the 02 Boys Black. They won their bracket at the United FA Cup and advanced to the finals of the top 11v11 division, before falling to one of the top teams in Georgia: Lanier Sharks.