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Youth Boys Mar 23, 2013

PWSI Icebreaker 2013: Coverage Central

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — It’s “game on” at some two dozen fields across this and several other Northern Virginia locales this weekend, as the PWSI Icebreaker tournament cranks up its girls brackets and Under-13 through U-19 division play on the boys side.

As the name would suggest, the PWSI Icebreaker marks the annual transition from winter into the spring soccer season for hundreds of teams across the East Coast.

Squads from across the region gather in the Washington, D.C. suburbs to test themselves against less familiar opponents and hunt for a trophy to take home, with many also electing to take advantage of the area’s many opportunities for sightseeing and cultural activities.

Some in older age groups are also hoping to make a good impression on the college scouts that often drop in to watch the action.

Icebreaker teams also have access to discounted tickets to D.C. United’s MLS match on Saturday night against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium, in Washington, D.C., a 45-minute drive to the north.

Division structures vary slightly among age groups, but in general, two or three group-round matches are played throughout Saturday as well as Sunday morning in order to determine the matchups for championship finals on Sunday afternoon.

Host club Prince William Soccer, Inc. also uses the annual event to support worthy nonprofit causes. This year Icebreaker participants are urged to bring secondhand gear like balls, shorts, jerseys and shin guards to the event to donate to underprivileged youth in the disaster-stricken communities of Haiti, extending the club’s tradition of using their tournaments to assist philanthropic causes (PWSI’s main fall event is the Toys For Tots Tournament).

“We’ve partnered up with the HANDS (Helping Haiti AND Soccer) nonprofit group,” explained PWSI executive director Mike Yeatts. “We ask that folks bring used soccer equipment out – we’ll collect it and get that to the Hands folks, who will ship it to Haiti.”

Find Icebreaker schedule and standings information, field locations and directions and other useful information on the tournament’s official website, including an online store where Icebreaker gear and apparel is on sale. reporters Jimmy LaRoue and Michael Willis are onsite at Icebreaker 2013 and are sharing updates from several of the tournament venues. Here’s a few of their dispatches…

Day 2

5:45 p.m – The U16 Boys Prince William Cup ended in quite the dramatic finish.

Host team PWSI Courage came out on top in a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Alexandria Titans that required two overtime periods to decide. The game was completely even until the first fifty seconds of the first OT period. That’s when the Courage struck.

An Alexandria defender stumbled a bit receiving a routine pass, which set up a 2-on-0 breakaway up the left sideline. PWSI made a quick pass across once the keeper committed to one man, and tapped a beauty in as the crowd went wild.

The game couldn’t have ended sooner for the Courage, as they played most of it with ten men. A red card early on put them at a disadvantage, but they fought through it, beating their opponents in the final for consecutive seasons.

5 p.m. – The first snow flurry fell just as the last games of the day were concluding at Valley View Park.

In a well-played Girls U19 final in the Prince William Cup bracket, CC Storm, an independent club based just north of Baltimore, got two first half goals, then had to hold on after its opponent, STN Angons, converted a penalty to cut the margin in half.

Still, CC Storm, who did not allow a goal in the run of play during the PWSI Icebreaker, held firm for the win, which, according to the club’s coaching staff, means it has gone 24-1-2 in its last 27 games.

Throughout the match, CC Storm substituted liberally, one of the few teams capable of doing so as it maintains a no-cut policy for the U19 team, the only one it has.

Having won two consecutive tournaments in Virginia on back-to-back weekends (the other coming at Stafford’s St. Patrick’s Day Tournament), CC Storm will take the Easter week off before preparing for league play and a likely trip to a tournament in Gettysburg for the Memorial Day weekend.

3:45 p.m. – Here we go, courtesy of Michael Willis:

We have a winner!

The SYC Titans were crowned champions of the U19 Prince William Cup, beating AFFC of Pittsburgh 2-0 Sunday afternoon. Two second-half goals and some incredibly dominating possession play spurred them to victory.

Going 3-0-1 in four games over two days while only sacrificing two goals the entire tournament is phenomenal. It’s even more startling that they accomplished all that without their goalie. I’ll have more on that later.


We’re also midway through the second half of the U16 PWSI championship game between the Alexandria Titans and the PWSI Courage Red. Still scoreless, but definitely a heavyweight rematch of two teams that met in the Icebreakers final last year as well. In that outing, the Courage came out on top.
2:45 p.m. – Boy, these title games are getting intense. Michael Willis is back with some U19 and U16 action:

At the half, the SYC Titans and AFFC are tied in the U19 Boys PWSI championship game. There are more than a few parents on the sidelines braving the cold to watch their sons and loved ones come away with a huge victory.

Still, the game is played and won on the pitch, but neither team is ceding an inch there. The Titans have been afforded two corners that came incredibly close to going in off a header, but nothing came of them.

In the U16 Red bracket, the Reston Internationals White will take on the GFSC Rowdies in the championship game later Sunday. Their tie earlier in the day against FC Frederick Royal 94 set them up for battle against the 2-1-1 Rowdies.

2 p.m. – Jimmy LaRoue has an update from Valley View:

Playing on fields next to each other, CSA Intensity and Loudoun 97G White advanced to the final of U15 Red bracket at Valley View Park.

CSA outshot FC Pittsburgh in penalties, and nearly simultaneously, Loudoun was rallying from 2-0 down in PKs against Foothills-SVA to also get to the final.

In U16 Prince William Cup bracket, CSA Spirit and Foothills Galaxy are just underway in the final, with no score.

1:45 p.m. An update from Michael Willis:

The U16 Boys Red bracket at the PWSI Icebreakers tournament is a prime example of how important every goal is and the implications of letting up just one late goal can be.

U16 Reston Internationals White and FC Frederick Royal are currently underway in a game that will likely decide the team that plays in the Championship game later today. With a win, Reston would go on to play the GFSC Rowdies. With a loss by three goals or more, they would miss the game narrowly.

There is even potential for a three-way tie if the HYS Mavericks win against Loudon Soccer White by more than four goals and Reston loses to Frederick by more than three goals. That would put three teams at 2-1-0 and vying for a single spot. That would put the game down to goal differential. As it stands, the Mavericks are currently up 2-0 to start the second half.

Confusing, yet exciting stuff unfolding here at PWSI.

12:30 p.m. – Results are rolling in. Jimmy LaRoue is back with another update:

Semifinal results are in in the Girls U19 Prince William  Cup bracket at Valley View Field, with STN Angons, second place in Flight B going into the day, pulling off the upset and defeating host side PWSI Courage 94 Red 4-3. In the other semifinal, CC Storm of Maryland won convincingly over CYA Rumble 7-0.

It sets up a final between two Flight B clubs, STN Angons and CC Storm. The two sides played each other yesterday, with CC Storm winning 2-0. CC Storm has won its three games of the Icecbreaker by a combined 14-0.

In U15 Prince William Cup bracket games, FCSC Fever picked up a 6-0 win over Richmond Strikers Premier U15 Girls, while PWSI Courage 98 Red scored its third win in three matches with a 4-1 win over ASC Wolves, The final matches in this group sees PWSI 97 Courage White take on PWSI Courage 98 Red, which has just gotten underway. In the later matches, FCSC Fever takes on ASC Wolves, and Richmond Strikers Premier U15 Girls will try for its first Icebreaker win against PWSI 97 Courage White.

CSC TeamHarkes Elite 99 picked up a 2-0 win over McLean Spirit Green and had the majority of the play in the match. Both goals came in the second half, including the second goal on a penalty kick.

McLean Spirit Green and SYA Cardinals 98 Red are in a second place tie after the latter team’s 1-0 win over Chantilly Magic this morning.

In the final matches of the day, Chantilly Magic plays McLean Spirit Green, while CSC TeamHarkes Elite 99 plays PWSI Courage 98 White.

PWSI Courage 98 White is playing now against SYA Cardinals 98 Red.

As the U-14 PWC bracket is a five-team group, it’s only round robin play here, with final placements still to be decided.

11:30 a.m. – Here you have an update from Michael Willis:

Over at Howison Park, the finals for the U16 Boy’s championship game have been set.

Host team PWSI Courage ’96 Red cemented its place in the championship game with a well-earned 2-0 victory over McLean 96 Fire Green. The Courage pressed early, going up a goal in the first five minutes of the game off a shot that slipped right by the keeper. Safe, secure ball after that ensured that the lead was kept safe, and they capitalized late in the game off a McLean miscue to score again.

The Courage finished off their three-game seeding play with 2-0-1 record.

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Titans of Virginia also secured their spot in the championship as well with a 1-0 win over the Keystone Krew. The Titans finished with the best record of all the U16 teams, going 3-0-0 with only one goal allowed. PWSI is going to have their hands full when they kick off at 2:15 on field #3 at Howison Park.

11 a.m. – Jimmy LaRoue has an update as we near midday:

CSA Spirit won the head to head matchup with FASA Impact Premier, and despite identical 2-1-0 records in Flight A, will face Foothills Galaxy in the 1 p.m. final of the Girls U16 Prince William Cup championship game.

Foothills Galaxy narrowly made the final on goal differential, as both it and Reston Real Foece won their games this morning by identical 4-0 margins, but the Galaxy was +6 on goal differential, while Reston was +5.

Here are the morning U16 PWC bracket results.

• Altoona AC United 96 1-0 over PWSI Courage 96 Girls White

• CSA Spirit 2-1 over FASA Impact Premiere

• Foothills Galaxy 4-0 over FASA Impact 95G Premier White

• Reston Real Force 4-0 over Loudoun 96G Black

10 a.m. – Have you checked out Day 1 content? Visit here to get caught up on what you might have missed yesterday, in addition to some fantastic photos courtesy of Jimmy LaRoue.

9 a.m. – Welcome everyone to Sunday’s coverage of PWSI Icebreaker 2013. Lots of great content is on the way, so stick with us!


Day 1

5 p.m. — More info on the girls’ side of the tournament from LaRoue…

Caitlin Sullivan had a monster game for Prince William Courage 94 Red in a dominating 4-1 win over CYA Rumble this afternoon at Valley View Park.

Sullivan scored all four Courage goals in the first half, allowing for liberal substitutions and rest for players fatigued through multiple games and their high school seasons.

Facing a likely two games tomorrow, Courage coach Celia Mosier stressed the importance of post-game stretching and urged her players to take ice baths this evening. The games in the upper age groups are finished for the day, with more exciting action on tap for tomorrow.


4 p.m. — Scores from Jimmy LaRoue:

FASA Impact Premiere is a perfect 2-0-0 after its second 1-0 win, this time against PWSI Courage 96 Girls White in the Girls U16 Prince William Cup bracket.

In the Girls U15 Prince William Cup bracket, PWSI Courage 98 Red, the top-ranked team in Virginia, racked up another 5-0 win, this one against FCSC Fever, to go to 2-0-0, outscoring opponents 10-0 along the way.


3 p.m. —  Michael Willis checks in with some scores and info from Howison Park…

U19 Boys Prince William Cup

FC Pittsburgh went 1-0-1 today, beating FC Frederick 94 Royal 2-1 and drawing 0-0 with SYC Titans.

Maryland Rush Nike 94 went 0-0-2 today, in spite of some really strong play. A scoreless draw against AFFC featured some crossbar chimes. Then, a 2-2 draw against the Richmond Kickers Elite where Rush Nike allowed a late goal had to hurt.

Circumstances got extremely heated in the U19 CYA SECENA vs Keystone Krew match. The referee stopped play and booted some parents from the spectator area because of poor language and sportsmanship.

Parents invest serious amounts of time and resources for their kids to compete in these tournaments, but regardless of opinion, remaining adults and maintaining composure is a necessity. It’s about the kids, after all. Can’t we all just get along?


2:15 p.m. — Could your favorite boys team pull off bright pink jerseys?

Michael Willis found a talented Icebreaker squad who are doing exactly that in this year’s edition as they compete in the U-19 Red division.

“Big props to the VISTA Vapors for the massive amount of ‘swag’ they brought to the Icebreaker,” he explains. “Donning pink and black, the Vapors stylistically match Italian giants Juventus to a T — at least when it comes to the threads. One parent on the team said they didn’t stop at pink; they also have Barça kits for their alternate uniforms.

“Now a few opposing teams’ parents said they wouldn’t even let their kids play for a team wearing those ugly uniforms. But considering the Vapors are up 2-0 at half against GSC Elite 95 Strikers, I’m not sure opposing parents want to play against them, either.”


1 p.m. — Don’t forget to check out @PWCTournaments, PWSI’s official tournament Twitter acount, where we’re sharing news, updates, photos and much more.

In fact, this very afternoon, @PWCTournaments tracked down U.S. Women’s National Team star and proud PWSI product Ali Krieger, who has stopped by Icebreaker to meet fans, sign autographs (see below) and spread the word about her new team, the Washington Spirit.

The Spirit are a founding member of the National Women’s Soccer League, the new women’s professional league created and run by U.S. Soccer to provide current and future stars with a place to play high-quality soccer.

Featuring a roster packed with local talent like Ali, the Spirit opened preseason training last week and are preparing for their inaugural NWSL season opener on April 14.

The club has scheduled several preseason games against college teams, including a meeting with Duke at 3 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md., the Spirit’s home base for both training and match play.


Noon — Icebreaker’s intensity tests the early-season fitness of participating teams, as Willis notes in his latest update from Howison Park.

“As  U19 FC Frederick 94 Royal and FC Pittsburgh kick off at 11:45 this morning, we’re reminded how grueling the tournament environment can be,” he writes. “FC Frederick, just four hours removed from their 1-1 draw at eight Saturday Morning, now have yet another match to play today. The layover time? About three and a half hours.

“That’s a lot to ask of any player, but everyone at PWSI is more than willing to battle fatigue to win this tournament. With proper preparation and hydration, it’s certainly doable. That’s why, littered around the sidelines, you see Gatorade, Powerade and water bottles everywhere. Cramping up in a competitive environment could be the difference between a win and a loss.”


11 a.m. — Here’s some early scores from Valley View Park, courtesy of Jimmy LaRoue.

Girls U14 Prince William Cup bracket: Teams were tying things on in the early going, as SYA Cardinals 98 Red and CSC TeamHarkes Elite 99 played to a 1-1 tie, and Chantilly Magic and PWSI Courage 98 White tied 0-0.

Girls U15 Prince William Cup bracket: FCSC Fever and PWSI 97 Courage White went scoreless in their match, while PWSI Courage 98 Red picked up a comprehensive 5-0 win over Richmond Strikers Premier U15 Girls.

U16 Prince William Cup bracket: FASA Impact Premiere and Loudoun 96G Red opened with 1-0 wins over Altoona AC United 96 and FASA Impact 96G Premier White, respectively. PWSI Courage 96G White scored a 3-0 win over CSA Spirit, which included a 30-yard looping golazo, while Foothills Galaxy and Reston Real Force tied 1-1.

U19 Prince William Cup bracket: STN Angons of Pennsylvania had no trouble with Tri-County Soccer Club of West Virginia 6-0. PWSI Courage 94 Red picked up a 3-1 win.

10 a.m. — Willis found a U-16 team using billingualism to good effect in the opening games of that age group’s Prince William Cup bracket.

“Soccer is probably the most ethnically diverse sport in the world, so it shouldn’t shock anyone that more than a few teams are bilingual here at PWSI Icebreakers tournament,” writes Willis. “Still, it was very interesting to hear players on the U16 Boys Alexandria Titans code switch between Spanish and English without hesitation. Since Alexandria is an area with a booming Hispanic population, it’s no wonder that the boys on the team are a multicultural bunch.

“They’re also winning, despite not dominating the time of possession in any way, shape or form. Their opponents this morning, CYA Secena 96 (Chantilly, Va.), are very, very, aggressive and had been pushing all game.”

9:30 a.m. — LaRoue checks in from Valley View with USMNT on his mind…

NOKESVILLE, Va. – No frost here at Valley View Park for the start of the second weekend of the PWSI Icebreaker tournament. Still, while it’s a cool and crisp morning, it’s nothing compared to the blizzard-like conditions that greeted the sellout crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. for the U.S. Men’s national Team’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica in CONCACAF qualifying.

Unfortunately, it’s not too early for injuries, as one PWSI Courage 96 Girls White player suffered a dislocated shoulder during Girls U16 Prince William Cup bracket action against CSA Spirit.

Most of the opening games are nearing a conclusion as the day promises to stay bright and warm up, and the action stays focused and fiercely contested.

9 a.m. ET — “The Prince William Cup kicked off at 8 a.m., with frost still covering the turf at Howison Park’s three main fields,” writes Michael Willis from chilly Woodbridge, Va. “Though it may start out cold, today’s forecast promises to be full of sunshine. The parents in the sidelines are looking forward to shedding their many layers of clothing around noon when things heat up.

“A few U-16 and U-19 games are at halftime, but there haven’t yet been any goals scored. Perhaps the cold muscles will have thawed by the end of the game, and someone will have finally netted a winning tally.”