BRASHER FALLS - The 2013 Little Larries World Cup was held under the lights this week at the Tri-Town Community Center for the U6-U15 groups.
The World Cup is a 4-on-4 no goalie format on a small field and 2x3 nets. After a postponement due to rain Tuesday, August 13, the action got underway in full form the next evening with hoards of painted, loud soccer fans from around the world.
The Little Larries Youth Soccer is a program of the Brasher-Stockholm Recreation Commission with 127 players aged 5-18. The event highlighted a wonderful season of skills acquisition and games thanks to the many volunteer coaches. The U6 team was coached by Morgan Villnave and Brandi Thomas. The U10 team was coached by Michelle Rutledge, Marc McLaughlin, James Wagstaff, Sarah Thayer, and Luke Peets. The U12 and U15 teams were coached by Julia Rose, Amy Hornung and Michelle Rutledge. U18 boys were led by Hayden Beaulieu and Eric Lynch. And the U18 girls were coached by Christine Compo-Martin.
The U6 kids represented Spain (Brandi Thomas) and South Africa (Morgan Villnave) and battled to Co-Champions status after two games that saw big smiles after 14 goals were scored by both squads. Parents were sure bedtime would be a non-issue for the athletes.
The U10 squads carried the flags of Mexico (Trent Dow), Japan (Michelle Rudledge), England (Tessa Taylor/Marc McLaughlin), and France (Zach St. Hilaire/Lizzane Lalonde). Even though Mexico tried to bribe the tournament official with delicious cultural foods, Japan and England made it to the finals after a tight round robin. England battled to the end but Japan snagged the victory by a margin of 3-0 on goals from Jace Pike, Chantel McCarthy, and MaKenzie Morrow.
Referees Andrew Lantry and Drew Rose were pleased with the level of play and sportsmanship shown at both levels and by all countries.
On Thursday, the U12 and U15 levels got underway with typical, loud, crazy soccer fans and a great summer evening. U12 teams competed as South Korea (Paul Steenberg), Austraila (Lindsay Thayer), and Canada (Jake Sutton). The teams were able to score a total of 28 goals through real goals, fan spirit and ball tricks. Making it to the finals were Australia and South Korea with Australia scoring four goals in the first half from Cora Capozzi (2 assists), Carter Rose, and Madison Arquiett. South Korea stepped up the defense and offense in the second half missing some close chances but couldnt stop two more goals by Austrailas Rico Dimatteo and Carter Rose.
Chief referee, Sarah Thayer, ruled with an iron fist awarding a few penalty kicks but overall was impressed with the work ethic and skill level of the U12 group.
On the U15 side of things, USA (Michelle Rutledge), Ghana (Eric Zellweger) and Denmark (Ashley Thayer) ended up in a three way tie after round robin play. Penalty kicks were used to determine who would advance to the finals. Ghana won round one with two out of three successful attempts and Denmark won the second round with two winners versus USAs lone goal. Denmarks players enjoyed a quick energy snack of bread, potato, and bacon but it wasnt enough with Ghana pulling ahead in the first half on a Bend it Like Beckham goal by Andrew Lantry from the right corner. Denmark kept the pressure on and came very close to pulling even. However, Leah Francis scored a beautiful goal in the second half and Denmark couldnt fashion a response in time.
U15 referee, Kody Kocsis, held up well under lots of crowd pressure and was a tough judge on trick goals keeping the contest as true as possible.