ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Elite FC U13 Boys soccer team competed in the Icebreaker Tournament during President’s Day weekend, bringing home first-place medals in a very competitive tournament.
Elite FC’s first game was a rematch of last year’s thrilling win against Impact United, when Elite FC ended up winning 6-5.
This game, however, was a little one sided, with the Elite FC winning 6-1.
Impact United concentrated their defense efforts on Nathan Morrill, who scored five goals against them last year.
The extra attention opened up other options for Elite FC, with goals coming from Nico Avila, Spencer Elsner, Connor Knotts and a hat trick from Hermon Meles.
The second game was against a very good Murray Max team from Murray, Utah. With the score 0-0 at half time, both sides made tactical changes. Murray ended up scoring first in the beginning of the second half.
Coming back from a 1-0 deficit, Elite FC used its speed and physicality to wear out Murray’s defense to comeback for a 2-1 win. Goals from Miguel Abarca and Morrill ended up sealing the deal for Elite FC to move on to the semifinals.
The semifinal game took place in snowy conditions against Southern Utah Real from Cedar City, Utah. Elite FC struck within the first 30 seconds with a goal from Abarca. After shocking the opposition, Elite FC controlled the entire game – winning 6-2. The goals came from Morrill, Avila, Meles, and Abarca – completing his hat trick.
Later that afternoon was the championship game against Morgan Valley United from Ogden, Utah.
Morgan Valley scored first on a defensive error by Elite FC early in the first half. With about 80-percent possession, Morgan Valley kept pushing up the field and pinning Elite FC into its own half.
Finally with an opportunity to press the defense of United, Elite FC caused a mistake and Jace Henseler capitalized to make the score 1-1 to go into the half. With both teams making adjustments, Elite FC decided to sit back and counter attack. Within the first 10 minutes of the second half, United got impatient and started sending more players farther forward.
A quick pass through the defense by Meles found Morrill on a breakaway with just the keeper to beat. Morrill dribbled around the goalkeeper with composure to make the score 2-1. Elite FC stayed disciplined and kept its formation. With a very stout defense and strong goalkeeping from Brady Smith, Elite FC held on to win its first tournament together.
“All the boys stayed disciplined and did their job. I am very proud of all my boys; everyone contributed in this tournament,” said coach Forest Knotts. “The boys played with their heart, and I could not have asked for more. This is the start of something special.”
The Elite FC U13 boys soccer team has been together for the last year and a half, combining boys from the Spring Creek and Elko areas. Elite FC would like to say a special thank you for all the support the boys have been given.
Special thanks go to the Igloo, Spring Creek Middle School and Spring Creek High school for letting Elite FC use their facilities to practice in.