By Quinn Casteel
After two full days at The Virginian, it seemed there would be nothing stopping the Culpeper Comets (Va) in the U17 Boys Silver division.
Brothers Colton and Mack Elliot had led the Virginian squad to four consecutive wins heading into the championship match against the Takoma Celtics (Md) and appeared to be on the fast track to a title. However, the Maryland U17 travel team was not going to go down easy. In fact, quite the opposite occurred.
Daniel Tracey led the Celtics with a brace and Seskin Siyam netted his only goal of the weekend as the defenders dominated against a potent Culpeper attack, earning a 3-0 win.
“We had a great group of guys that came together for this tournament,” Celtics Coach Paul Winters said. “It was a nice, competitive schedule that we played, and that team out there today was very good. They had a nice control of the game and had a lot of talent on the ball.”
Tracey gave his team an early first-half lead, then struck again to double up the opponents after the break His second goal came on a shot from nearly 30 yards out with his feet almost touching the left sideline, bending the ball in such a way that it snuck just under the cross bar and over the outstretched arms of the leaping Culpeper goalkeeper. Seemingly surprised that the ball went inhimself, all he could do in celebration was shrug his shoulders.
“He does something like that almost every game, he’s been unbelievable,” Winters said of Tracy, the Celtics’ leading goal scorer. “He’s gotten offers from other travel teams, but he’s been playing with these guys since he was eight years old. He has stuck with us even though he’s getting looks from other teams all the time, so he’s a good guy.”
Siyam, who finished the scoring for the Celtics with another highlight reel goal, is a relative newcomer to the program and hasn’t had many goal scoring opportunities to this point.
“It was his first goal in a while, we were all pretty happy for him,” Winters added.
The Celtics have come a long way since their humble beginnings as a rec team, and have since moved up to NCSL division seven, then to division five and are currently in second place in the standings of division three. Some of the players who remain on the roster today have been teammates since they were eight years old. Winters and company are hoping that they will make another upward move soon, considering all their recent success.
That move may come sooner rather than later for the Celtics, considering they just captured a championship at one of the more competitive tournaments in the area.