S20 Notes From Nationals – Day 4

July 20
Hank Elliott

The fourth and final day of the Super 20’s trip to the USL National Finals was a bittersweet one. We had played two quality games yet not matter the out come of our final game that day we would be heading home. But the boys still had the opportunity to go out with a win over their final opponent, the Ottawa Fury.

We left the hotel early Saturday morning for our 9 a.m. kickoff. The boys came into the game with something to prove, as they still wanted a win in the tournament. It was going to be tough for the boys as they were without starting goalkeeper, Steven Matlock. But the boys would come out firing. David Geno picked up two goals in the first twenty minutes of the match. Kade Morgan then picked up his first goal of the tournament. Right before the end of the half Emmanuel Wilson found the back of the net for his second goal of the tournament. KSA went into halftime up 4-0 over Ottawa.

The pace in the second half slowed a little as many of the subs found their way into the game, including the youngest member of the squad Zach Webb. Zach, who is only 15, came in the last 20 minutes to get in on some of the action. After the match Zach said, “ I had a great experience. I would have never imagined myself hear at the beginning of the summer.”

In the latter part of the match Kade found the back of the net again for his second goal of the game. Finally, in the dying minutes Ottawa managed to knock one past back up goalkeeper Garret Koon. The boys finished the tournament with a huge 5-1 win over Ottawa.

After the match the boys had a little fun getting their team picture made, and having a few interviews done. We then headed back for the hotel for quick showers and to pack up. We then stopped for lunch before we made it out of Bradenton.  After lunch we began the long twelve-hour drive back to Knoxville.

In reflection on our trip many of the boys had fond memories. Sam Muir said, “I feel really close to these guys. It has been a great experience this summer, and I think this trip just made us that much tighter of a group.” That pretty well summed up the ride home as the boys reminisced over the season that had been, and what will happen next year. Though we did not make it out of the group stage of the tournament we made a statement at Nationals as a first year squad, that we are hear to stay and Knoxville is going to be part of the national soccer scene for years to come.

For a recap of any of the matches or to keep up with KSA events, check out our twitter feed.

Finally, we would like to thank all our sponsors for making the trip to Nationals possible, we couldn’t have done it without you.