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Tournaments Oct 13, 2015

Discovery Cup blessed with ideal conditions, tight matches at Maryland SoccerPlex

GERMANTOWN, Md. – Columbus Day weekend brought another soccer pilgrimage to the Maryland SoccerPlex, as 208 competitive girls teams from across the Eastern Seaboard gathered for the Discovery Cup tournament on a particularly festive occasion for the host facility.

The sprawling soccer-specific complex marked its 15th birthday with an all-day bash dubbed “Oktoberplex” on Saturday, adding to the aura of celebration that was further enhanced by bright sunshine and 70-degree temperatures for all but the earliest of kickoff times.

+FIND full scores and standings at the tournament’s website

It’s relatively rare to find less-than-ideal field conditions at “The ‘Plex,” where turning leaves on hundreds of trees added a pleasing backdrop to the action on the field. And a good handful of teams were also treated to the opportunity to play on Maureen Hendricks Field, the complex’s stadium venue, which plays home to NWSL professional club the Washington Spirit.

In keeping with an increasingly nationwide tradition, many teams added pink jerseys, socks or other splashes of rosy color to commemorate October’s status as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For those looking to restore a bit of actual holiday to their holiday weekend, Discovery Cup – which is coming up on its 10th year of existence – is a compelling option on the crowded tournament market, as it is limited to two days, Saturday and Sunday only.

+LEARN more about Discovery Cup at its SoccerWire event page 

The event brought an interesting mix of local up-and-comers and long-distance travelers, while larger clubs like nearby McLean Youth Soccer and Bethesda SC (as well as those further afield like Long Island powerhouse Alberton SC and the Sunshine State’s Florida Kraze Krush) entered multiple teams over several age groups.

Trish and LouiseCoaches that spoke to were generally quite satisfied with the organization and execution of the event, finding mostly balanced competition from one division to the next.

“It was the first time for us down here in the Discovery Cup. Complex is beautiful, we matched up well with the competition. We had four teams down here and two [reached] their finals,” said Mick Bowdler, a coach with Pittsburgh-area Under-14 side Penns Forest United 01/02. Bowdler’s side earned the top spot in the U-14 Green bracket. “We fared well.

“When we go to tournaments we’re always looking to play new teams, and we played new teams every game we played down here. It was a lot of fun – you can see everybody’s enjoying themselves. It was great,” he added. “I think we’ll be back. Everyone’s had a great time and we really liked the complex.”

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