WSA Cup 2006 On the Horizon; Exciting New Partnership with Valley Park!
The WSA Cup Tournament 2006 is now two weeks away. The tournament committee is proud to announce that in the first year of the club's new partnership with Valley Park Soccer and SEMI the tournament has expanded to field over 120 teams. The need to change venues was created by the increasing interest in WSA Cup over of the past two years, and the tournament committee's efforts to accept more teams. In 2005 WSA Cup had to turn away nearly 20 teams. This year the tournament will accept teams from the Oklahoma City area, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, and of course Tulsa. The tournament already includes several state and regionally ranked teams and many former WSA Cup Champions and Runners-Up. For a current list of u11-u19 "accepted teams" click here.
In addition WSA Cup has partnered with the Oklahoma Development League (ODL) and US Club Soccer to offer an academy venue coinciding with WSA Cup, the Lil Alliance Challenge Cup. Several teams in the u7 to u10 age groups will also be participating in the Lil Alliance Challenge Cup, a small-sided academy format tournament. WSA volunteers please be prepared to help once again with tournament on-site activities and duties. WSA is proud to present one of the friendliest atmospheres for tournament play and the main reason for this is the charitable spirit of our parent volunteer base.
Schedules are currently being formulated and can be expected by the end of this week. The anticipation of another great soccer event is certainly in the air.
93 Girls Bring Home Runner-Up Trophy From Arkansas
"WSA 93 girls immediately following their final match with Arkansas Comets, where they drew 0-0 to claim the runner-up trophy."
The WSA 93 girls captured the runner-up trophy of the Ft. Smith Spring Invitational Tournament, playing some of Arkansas' top-ranked teams, on the weekend of March 11-12th in Ft. Smith. Playing in some difficult conditions created by a rainy weekend, the 15-man roster of WSA 93 girls demonstrated true grit in their 4-game performance which saw teeter-totter matches decided by mere inches and seconds (raising the blood pressure of some of the parents). WSA, who picked up seven points in the final standings, was edged for the championship trophy by Searcy Arkansas who gathered eight points in the final standings.
WSA picked up wins against NW Arkansas Lightning by a score of 1-0, and Ft. Smith Express by a score of 2-1 in games that were battled back and forth by both teams. Taylor Geddie got the game-winning goal against Lightning, while Ashley Hampton scored twice against Ft. Smith. The squad also landed a tie with Fayetteville Comets, 0-0, in a true test of courage and will, in what was both teams fourth match of the weekend. Both sides were playing the match knowing a win would provide their team the championship trophy. However, it was Searcy Arkansas who squeaked a 2-1 win over WSA in the opening match that brought home the championship by one point, when WSA and Comets drew their match at 0-0. The scoreless draw was not without exciting moments and chances by both teams. WSA goalkeeper, Hope Sheppard turned away a couple of great chances for Comets in the first half, while Lauren Rogers and Hampton had near misses at WSA's end.
WSA claimed the runner-up trophy on a goal-difference tiebreaker, which was only fitting in a tournament that couldn't declare a winner until the final match was played, and saw only one game decided by more than a goal. WSA was impressive in their wins, as NWA Lightning is currently ranked 4th in Arkansas, and Ft. Smith Express is currently ranked 6th. Both wins demonstrated WSA 93 girls are an "up and coming" team.
"WSA 93 girls proudly display their runner-up medallions a the 2006 Ft. Smith Spring Invitational Tournament."
The runner-up medallions were well-earned by the girls, and represented their first tournament trophy as a team. Earlier in the year the squad advanced to the semifinals of the Blitz United Fall Invitational. The team is coached by Billy Wallace and Roger Bush. Congratulations and well done ladies on a great performance! [3/14/06]
94's and 93's Head to Ft. Smith
WSA will send three teams to Arkansas this weekend, March 11th and 12th, to participate in the Spring Invitational held in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The WSA 93 boys take an early season unbeaten record into the tourney. The WSA 94 boys will open their season at Ft. Smith without a regular season match under their belt, while the WSA 93 girls hope to break their current skid and move into the win column.
Ft. Smith will in turn send several of it's teams to WSA Cup 2006 as the two clubs swap teams in an exchange of goodwill.
Matches kick-off Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. in Arkansas. Good luck to all three teams! [3/8/06]
Lil Alliance Academy Friendlies Success!
The first Lil Alliance friendlies hosted by West Side Alliance Soccer Club on Sunday, February 26th, were a huge success! Twelve different academy teams from our own WSA club and from our guests, Extreme F.C. participated. The friendlies were a return favor to Extreme F.C. who hosted Lil Alliance Academy teams earlier in the Fall at their home grounds in Owasso.
Each of the twelve teams played two matches on the warm afternoon at the Rivercity Parks in Sand Springs, home of WSA Soccer. Lil Alliance Academy 96 boys, 97 boys, and 98 boys all picked up at least one victory on the day, while the Lil Alliance 98 girls played tough in back to back games. The event included three academy teams that have already won competition level championships during the year including, Lil Alliance 96 boys, Thunder 97 boys, and Extreme 96 boys. While results and scores weren't kept the primary objective of a fun-filled afternoon of soccer for some aspiring young players was certainly met. Well done to all teams and players that participated! And special thanks to our youth referees for volunteering their Sunday afternoon to work the games for free! [2/26/06]
Hurricane Cup Champions, WSA 94 Girls!
It had been an elusive gold medal for the WSA 94 girls all year. Three times runners-up, and once a semifinalist, near misses and oh so close calls had characterized the team's year. It was only fitting that Sunday night, against MWC Fusion of the OPL, that WSA 94 would be faced with the ultimate challenge. Behind 2 goals, and midway into the 2nd half the girls could have easily conceded. It was after all their 5th match of the weekend, and temperatures with wind chills had been brutal. But the squad that has made a name for themselves by their tenacious spirit, was not willing to "throw in the towel".
With 15 minutes to play, trailing 2-0, WSA earned a free kick after Hannah McGinnis drew a foul on the left side. Lilly Swab bent the direct free kick with a bit of a dip over the outstretched hands of the MWC goalkeeper to draw her team back to within a goal. The contest saw the momentum change, and 5 minutes from time, in dramatic fashion, Samantha Forgione dug out a ball in the box, sidestepping the goalkeeper, and used the outside of her boot to cooly finish a chance that sent the "WSAAA" fan club into an uproar. With the match level, and momentum on their side WSA continued to mount pressure. Great defending, persistent running, excellent goalkeeping, and some savvy midfield play helped WSA get the match into a golden goal period.
After 10 minutes of scoreless play the match headed to the second golden goal period. Two minutes in WSA drew a penalty after McGinnis attempted to turn with her back to the goal in the box. Allyson Hall stepped up and smashed home the golden goal winner giving WSA 94 girls their well-deserved and long awaited gold medallions! Not since last spring when WSA 94 brought home gold in the State Director's Cup and WSA Cup had they tasted the thrill of a championship victory.
To get to the championship match WSA had to get through a group that included NOKC Untied, Edmond Soccer Club, and Hurricane, in addition to MWC Fusion. After a first round record of 3 wins and a draw, including a nail-biter 1-0 win over NOKC in their final match, WSA would avenge their first round loss to MWC. The victory may have been twice as sweet considering WSA 94 has made it a goal to qualify for the OPL and missed by one game the past two seasons. MWC is an OPL team and WSA has certainly proven they can compete with the best in the state.
WSA 94 girls are coached by Terry and Dustyn Hall. Congratulations ladies on another superb performance! [2/13/06]
Lil Alliance 96 Boys Go Unbeaten, Crowned Champions
The Lil Alliance 96 boys academy team participated in the SoccerCity Tulsa indoor league this past winter and managed the 8 game season with an unbeaten record. The young boys side put together a record of 6 wins and 2 draws in the winter league while outscoring their opponents by a 33 goal margin.
The team, coached by Joey Kennington, Lil Alliance Academy Director, trained over the winter and is planning to participate in the ODL, Oklahoma Development League, this spring. Several of the boys have been training and playing together for the past two years in the Lil Alliance Academy program and through the SSSC recreational program. Well done lads on a great performance!
For more information on the Lil Alliance Academy 96 boys click here WSA '96 Boys [1/19/06]
89 Girls, 88 Boys Showcased Nationally
The WSA 89 girls team and the WSA 88 boys have received regional and national attention from college coaches over the winter holiday as both teams were accepted into exclusive "college showcase" format tournaments. The 89 girls were accepted to the Sportsource College Showcase that was played in Dallas, Texas on December 2nd and 3rd. The 88 boys have just learned they were accepted to the Austin Capitols Showcase to be played January 28th and 29th in Austin, Texas.
College "showcase" events pit some of the top teams in the region and country against each other to play "exhibition" matches in front of an audience of college coaches for recruiting purposes. "The design of the event makes recruiting more effective and economical for soccer programs who operate on a tight budget," states ORU men's assistant coach, and WSA 92 boys coach, Ryan Bush. Hundreds of prospective collegiate athletes land on a single soccer complex for the weekend and college coaches show up in the masses. Trophies, standings, and results are not a part of the equation, as all games take on a "showcase" mentality. But don't let that fool one into thinking the matches are not meaningful for the team. In six showcase matches (including the local TSC Showcase) the 89 girls played 4 nationally ranked opponents. "Our kids are very cognizant of the fact that this is a stage for proving that we belong in this class of teams," says WSA 89 girls coach, Roger Bush.
The 89 girls were accepted to the SportSource Showcase in Dallas, Texas on the merits of their tournament record and games record against regionally ranked opponents over the past six months. The tournament included the 3 showcase matches played on Saturday and Sunday, in addition to a College "Combine" on Friday afternoon. The combine included instruction from actual college coaches, a college workout, and competition from other college prospects from around the country. It was staged somewhat like a "tryout", within the recruiting rules of NCAA and NAIA.
Only twelve u17 girls teams were accepted from the Midwest Region to the Sportsource showcase tournament. WSA 89 had moved to # 3 and # 4 in the state rankings over the Fall season, had broken into the top 50 of the Southern Regional U.S. rankings, and at the time sat atop the Oklahoma Premiere League. While the girls dropped all 3 matches in Dallas, the squad learned that in fact they are in the same class as the so called "elite". All three matches were competitive, and playing on a shortened roster, depleted by injuries, the team fared well. The team chose not to supplement their roster with "guest players", and tried to find out just how close or how far they were from some of the best around. The results were encouraging. "We never felt like we didn't belong on the same field. In fact in couple of matches we believed we did more to dictate tempo and flow in the run of play, but just found ourselves victims of goals against the run of play," related coach Roger Bush. And not to be overlooked, WSA 89's only graduating senior didn't go unnoticed either. Caitlyn Sparks, the team's senior center midfielder, has received several college offers since the tournament for her play. The rest of the team of sophomores and juniors chalked it up to experience and hopefully some early exposure.
The 88 boys have moved up the state rankings since last year's Director's Cup State Championship, and a major college showcase was on their "wish list". A runner-up performance at St. Louis's MC United tournament earlier this season, and last summer's run to the Regional semifinals for Director's Cup laid the groundwork for the 88 boys to be accepted to the prestigious Capital Showcase in Austin. WSA 88 boys are the first team from the club to represent WSA at this prestigious event, which limits itself to the top 16 boys teams that apply regionally. WSA 88 will begin training for the event on New Year's Eve. "It is too important and the opportunity too great to not prepare," says coach Josh McElroy. The 88 boys have no fewer than 10 players who will graduate this year and are hopeful that this event will help propel some of them to soccer's next stage.
The 88 boys and 89 girls recent success on the regional and national stage can only be encouraging for the younger teams in the club who one day may also have college playing ambitions. Or at least ambitions to play club soccer against the best teams in the region. This recent trend of success for WSA of older teams includes the WSA 85 boys invitation to play in the 2003 Sun Bowl Exhibition against the "A" League's El Paso Patriots, and the WSA 87 girls "blue" invitation to play in the nationally acclaimed WAGS event in 2002, and the Sting Showcase in 2003. Congratulations to both the 88 boys and 89 girls for recognition they have brought to themselves and the soccer community they are a part of. We are all proud of you -- and best of luck to the 88 boys in January at Austin.
To visit the tournament sites, click on the following links: