SYAA saves Norfolk tourneyPublished 10:01pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Suffolk Youth Athletic Association saved the 3v3 Live soccer tournament in Norfolk from cancellation at the 11th hour by contributing nine of the 24 teams in the event. In return, SYAA left with two division winners.
The Suffolk Scorpions won the joint U-7 and U-8 division while the Suffolk Lightning split into two teams in the high school division, with the Lightning Two squad finishing first.
The Norfolk United Soccer Club held the event at Lake Taylor High School on Saturday. SYAA soccer commissioner and Lightning coach Stacy Pauley explained how the situation came about.
“This was a whole last-minute thing,” she said. “Norfolk contacted me and said, ‘Hey, do you have any teams to put in? If we don’t make enough teams, we’re going to end up having to cancel the tournament.’”
Pauley called coach Josh Landon, who was able to field three Suffolk Freedom teams across three different divisions, including some SYAA kids who had never played 3v3 before, but still performed well against experienced opposition.
Coach Vito Basile brought his Scorpions team, Pauley split up the Hurricanes and Lightning into two teams, and the Lightning were invited to field a squad in the adult division.
“I even have an e-mail from 3v3 Live thanking me for single-handedly saving the tournament, and I’m like, ‘I didn’t single-handedly save it,’ but Suffolk did,” Pauley said.
In the high school division, two of the three teams were Lightning One and Lightning Two. Each Suffolk team had five players, and their games against each other recreated a familiar rivalry: One featured three King’s Fork High School players and Two featured four from Nansemond River High School.
The teams split their two games against one another, but Lightning Two finished with the most total points in the division based on having the best record (3-1).
The 3v3 format was played on a 30×40 field with 4×8 goals, and it does not employ goalkeepers. Therefore, usual goalie Dustin Telles of the Lightning Two made himself useful elsewhere by scoring eight goals. Telles played in concert with Nansemond River teammates Nate Chandler, Gabe Everette and Gordon Smith.
“The four of them together, they clicked,” Pauley said. “Not a single person was trying to take the ball himself.”
The fast-paced games featured two 10-minute halves and were typically played only an hour or two apart from each other.
For nine of the Lightning players, that interval shrunk to mere minutes, when a tourney official invited them to field a team for the adult division after an unexpected vacancy.
Between the high school and adult divisions, the Lightning teammates ended up playing seven games on Saturday.
Coach Basile’s Scorpion team was composed of six players. Brayden Atkins, Sabrina Basile and Camryn DeLosreyes were joined by first-time 3v3 players David and Joey Brinkman and Abby Johnson.
Basile said he was content with the performance of his team, which went 4-0 in the tournament. He credited the team’s success in part to the parents, for bringing the kids to practice and games, and also to his effort to build camaraderie amongst the players.
“The one secret I would think is, I make them become friends before anything else, and them becoming friends and playing together and actually liking each other, I think it helped me a lot,” he said.
David Brinkman and DeLosreyes proved to be the key scorers for the Scorpions.
SYAA soccer has strongly represented Suffolk across multiple formats and age groups over the last few months.
“There’re probably not words to describe how proud I am of these kids,” Stacy Pauley said.
They have moved from 11v11 to 5v5 and now 3v3. “It’s immaterial to them; they just are true soccer players who truly love the sport as much as my husband (Chris Pauley) and I do, and we get pure enjoyment out of coaching them.”
SYAA will take several teams to another 3v3 competition Saturday in Richmond.