SYAA teams stand out in Orlando

Published 9:49 pm Saturday, January 26, 2013

Peyton Brown of the Suffolk Destroyers (left) competes during the Kick It 3v3 World Championships in Orlando, Fla. The Destroyers were one of two teams from SYAA that were invited to play in the event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located within the Walt Disney World Resort. (Stacey Pauley)

The Suffolk Youth Athletic Association had two soccer teams that went to Orlando, Florida last weekend for the Kick It 3v3 World Championships played in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The Suffolk Hurricanes, an Under-14 team, placed fifth out of 14 teams, while the Suffolk Destroyers, a team ranging in age from 10 to 18, placed fifth out of five teams against difficult competition.

Kick It 3v3 is an organization that holds soccer tournaments around the country, including twice here in Suffolk. The events feature three on-field players on each team, playing on a much smaller field with no goalie. It highlights constant movement, ball control, passing and scoring.

SYAA Soccer Commissioner describes the game, referring to soccer drills where players will place themselves in a triangle formation on the field and pass the ball to one another.

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“It’s a very fast-paced game and it’s all give and goes,” she said. “You cannot hold the ball, you cannot try to dribble through people; it’s a moving triangle game, is what it is.”

This was the second year SYAA had a team that had earned a berth at the world championships in Florida, which, this year, hosted about 400 teams in age divisions ranging from U-6 to adults.

“The whole way this got started was we won the sand soccer (tournament) in Virginia Beach, not this past summer, but the summer before,” SYAA Soccer Commissioner Stacy Pauley said. “So, we’ve been doing 3v3 now for two years. When we won that, we were given this information sheet on Kick It, and were invited to a regional tournament. We didn’t know anything about it.”

“So, we ended up going to the regional tournament in Rock Hill, South Carolina and we ended up in third,” she said.

The top six teams at a regional tournament are invited to the world championship in Orlando.

“We went and we ended up in ninth place,” she said.

“So, this summer, we did six different tournaments throughout the East Coast,” she said.

The team played in tournaments in Baltimore, Richmond, Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C.

“The regional was in Charlotte, and we ended up winning the regional championship this year,” she said.

A points system ranking teams based on how they performed in preceding tournaments put the Hurricanes in sixth going into the world championships. They played four games while in Orlando, going 2-2.

The team included Pauley’s son Zach, Daniel Tallarico, David Miler, Emery Weist, Kaylee Conner and Cody Faust.

Pauley, Tallarico and Weist scored, but everyone got to contribute because of the nature of the game.

“It was definitely different from last year,” Zach Pauley said. “It definitely took us a little while to get the groove again, because we hadn’t been playing since the summer.”

The Suffolk Destroyers got into the event by a different route. Participation was down on the girls’ side in 3v3 this past year, and a representative of Kick It contacted Stacy Pauley asking if she had any other teams.

Despite the Destroyers not having played a 3v3 tournament, they were invited because Pauley’s daughter Danielle Stauffer and another player on the team had individual experience with the unique style of play.

The Destroyers went 0-4 in Florida, but it was against competition that, in some cases, seemed to be much older than the group from Suffolk, a matter which is currently under investigation by the Kick It 3v3 organization.

“These girls looked like they were 20, and they were supposed to be 15 and 16,” Pauley said.

“It was a big challenge playing them, but we held our own,” Stauffer said.

The Destroyers included Stauffer, Peyton Brown, Elizabeth Arnold, Julia Jackson, Zoe Waddell and 10-year old Frankie Tallarico. Tallarico was needed to fill out the team, but she was able to compete well against much older girls.

“It was a lot of fun, and I think most of the girls had fun too,” Stauffer said.

Stacy Pauley explained what she thinks opportunities like this do for SYAA and Suffolk.

“I think it gets our name on the map,” she said. “A lot of people have asked me, especially this past weekend, ‘Where are you guys from?’”

“I really want Suffolk and SYAA to be well-known for soccer,” she said. “We do a lot for the community. We have a very good program and this 3v3 is just an added step because we’ve done two 3v3 tournaments last year, in Suffolk.”

SYAA plans to hold another Kick 3v3 tournament this year, scheduled for June 22 and 23.