2014 Founders Cup Champions - MIFC BU11 United

MIFC Boys U11 Win at State Tournament

Mercer Island Soccer Club's Boys U11 MIFC United are the new Washington State Founder's Cup Champions!

MIFC's Boys U11 United came together at just the right time to take the championship of the Washington State Founder's Cup. The core group of these boys have played together for four years. This year the team increased their skill levels with speed of play, possession, moving away from pressure, playing from the back and switching the field. According to Head Coach Paul Giampapa "Our boys developed techniques to defend in 1v1 situations and play physically aggressive soccer, being first to the ball and consistently winning 50/50 balls out of the air."

In their first round of 16 elimination game, MIFC United played a heated match at home against the Little Stars from Tacoma. After a scoreless first half, MIFC's Alex Arron scored to put the United in the lead. With the pressure on and spirits running high, each team received a yellow card during the second half. Mitchie Ashberg, United's keeper, earned the shutout for MIFC. Final score was a 1-0 win.

The excitement continued in the quarterfinals as MIFC United played away vs Seattle United-Shoreline Blue. Within the first 5 minutes of play Harry Quinlan scored for MIFC. At the midpoint of the first half, Dimitrios Giampapa scored off an assist from Arron to increase the lead 2-0. Near the end of the half keeper Ashberg collided with an opponent saving a goal. Ashberg and was then substituted by Teddy El-Ghazzawy. Early in the second half Max Malakoff scored off an assist by Giampapa to bring the lead and final score to 3-0.

The semifinal game was played at Starfire against a tough Crossfire Butler squad. This exciting game started off with Giampapa scoring an early goal. Once again, Ashberg was in goal and shut out Crossfire in the first half. With 5 minutes remaining Crossfire scored off a beautiful free kick outside the 18 to tie the game 1-1! With just seconds left MIFC United made a free kick outside the corner of the 18 delivered by Tripp White. The Goalie deflected the ball up and Zack Loeser was there to finish off with a header to take the lead again 2-1. With short time left, the ball was reset and the whistle blown to send MIFC BU11 United to the State Championship Finals!

The intense Championship game was played against Seattle United-South Black at the Starfire soccer complex. SU-South Black had been undefeated in the regular season, had outscored opponents 31-3 in the State tournament leading up to the final, and had never had to come from behind. During the regular season, our MIFC boys were missing a number of players and lost to the SU-South Black squad 10-1. The MIFC United boys continually improved throughout the season, finding ways to win and continue to gain momentum. This was their chance to prove themselves against a tough opponent.

The game was scheduled for 9am but snow the night before forced a delay and then a postponement of the game. In true team spirit parents from both teams came together to clear the field of 4 inches of snow so the game could be rescheduled and played later on Sunday. With the game eventually kicking off at 3:15pm, a tight match ensued. MIFC United was first to shoot on goal which bolstered their confidence.

Harry Quinlan made the first goal to put SU-South on their heels. Continuing the offensive drive, Joey DuffiƩ and Henry Watson worked hard up front to create opportunities to score again. Near the end of the first half SU-South Black pressed hard and scored the equalizer. Defenders White, Elias Malakoff, Noah Hendelman, Joe Cookson and Hunter Yetman took over the second half shutting down the opposition offensively and holding the game to 1-1 and moving it into overtime for two 10 minute overtime periods to be played entirely.

The first ten minutes MIFC attacked hard with several fouls going both ways. Finally, 6 minutes into the first overtime period, Quinlan again beat their defender and fired the shot to find the corner of the net for MIFC to take the lead 2-1. The United held them for the remainder of the overtime to secure the victory and become the BU11 Washington State Founders Cup Champions.

Said Coach Giampapa, "We are lucky to have a tight group of boys that are all very good friends and enjoy playing the game together. They are well developed as a team for this age. We look forward to more challenges and successes in the future."