It’s one of the biggest achievements for travel soccer players in the region.
Winning State Cup is a goal many teams have, and for some, it’s becoming a yearly tradition.
Athens’ Rachel Hutchison won her sixth title.
Hutchison’s SDA (Syracuse) team won 7-0 over the Vestal Express, 7-0 over the Northwest Wave and 3-0 over Empire United Rochester to dominate on their way to the title.
For Hutchison, who will play at St. Bonaventure next year, winning was fun, but it’s kind of sad knowing that she won’t be with this group of girls again.
“It was bittersweet,” Hutchison said. “It was fun to be with the girls again, it was a little sad knowing I’m done after this, but I’m moving on to St. Bonaventure after this, so I’m excited about this.”
For Hutchison, there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare for State Cup, but she was happy to be back with her team.
“I definitely didn’t, I was preoccupied with track for over a month, to come back from states and a weekend later go play State Cup, I was a little nervous, but soccer is second nature to me.”
A lot of her teammates she hasn’t seen in a while, because they already were at college this year.
“A lot of them came back from college freshmen year,” she said. “The experience they brought back from their teams freshmen year of college was great.
“There were about seven us that are still seniors, the rest are going to be sophomores in college next year.”
Hutchison knows she won’t be with this exact group again, and isn’t sure if she’ll get another shot at State Cup in the future.
“I know for sure it was their last State Cup,” Hutchison said. “For me, I’m not positive if I will come back next year. Either way, I was still very grateful to have this opportunity to play with them again.”
Mother Nature also seemed to know it was State Cup weekend, as it rained on the team during their final game on Sunday.
“Basically every Sunday it seems to be pouring everytime,” Hutchison said. “For sure, we seem to get the worst luck of weather every year, but it’s okay, it worked out in the end.”
While the team has won State Cup, they aren’t done playing together.
“This weekend there were some college girls coming back, when we go to West Virginia it’s the same thing,” Hutchison said. “For me to play in this before going to college, I think it will give me a fresher for what’s coming the next couple of months.”
VANALLEN CLAIMS CROWN
While Hutchison is one of the most experienced players in the region, Lea VanAllen of Waverly is starting her own legacy of winning at a young age.
VanAllen’s GBFC u14 team won their second title in a row.
“Winning this State Cup was awesome, because it was the second year in a row,” VanAllen said. “Scoring the first goal for my team in the tournament to tie the first game up, was a great feeling.”
While tournament’s like this are a great way to prepare for high school soccer, VanAllen knows she’ll be ready.
“I train twice a week and play in many tournaments in the off-season, so I’m always ready,” she said.
The GBFC team is made up of selected girls from Binghamton, Rochester, Corning and Buffalo areas.
DOMINANT SEASON FOR LOCALS
During the high school season Laurel Vargas of Notre Dame and Melina Ortiz of Waverly are rivals.
The rest of the year the two team up for one of the best teams around.
The two helped BC United 01 Select win another State Cup title this weekend.
“It feels amazing to win again,” Ortiz said. “This team makes every game feel like the most important game and that makes every win feel like the biggest win. However, this last year was especially important to us because we have a lot of seniors graduating and this State Cup was potentially our last State Cup as a team.”
This team has had a year to remember. The State Cup is special, but this team also earned a No. 1 National ranking this year.
“It feels amazing to win another State Cup Championship,” Vargas said. “We’ve all been working so hard as most of us are preparing for college in a few months so our training habits are getting more intense which is helping everyone individually.
“This year has been so special and sort of sad at the same time. The bond that I have with the girls is just something that you don’t always see in youth sports, and I’m just so lucky that I’ve gotten to be a part of it. Being named No. 1 in the nation is obviously an amazing accomplishment in itself and pushes us to play at the level we know we are capable of.”
For the girls one of the keys is just getting better as a group this year.
“This year has definitely been a very important year for our team,” Ortiz said. “For one, it’s been a very important year for our development. Since we have so many seniors going on to the next level, our training sessions have been intense.
“Secondly, it’s been a big year of accomplishments for us, our ranking being the biggest one. I think all our accomplishments have been even more emphasized this year than they have been before because we want to make this our best year.”
SINDONI HAPPY TO BE HEALTHY, PART OF TITLE
The SDA 02 Girls team has been dominant for the past three seasons.
Three years in a row the team has won, and they have yet to be scored on in that span.
For Sindoni it’s her second year being on the team for State Cup, but it’s her first playing in State Cup with the team, after she was injured a year ago.
“It feels amazing, because this year I was actually able to be on the field with my team instead of watching because of my injury,” Sindoni said.
While the team has dominated at State Cup over the year, they did have some tough moments this year, and Sindoni has been happy to see them come together.
“We went through some rough times this year, but were able to turn that around and come out strong this weekend,” she said. “We simply won because of how hard we played for each other and the work we put in.
“I’m proud of all the hard work we have put in to get to this point. Every girl on our team brings something to the team and played a role in our win.”
While State Cup is over for the year, the team hopes to keep playing together a while.
“We are looking forward to regionals and hopefully our season won’t stop there,” Sindoni said. “Working with this team/coaching staff has taught me a lot and it will definitely show in high school.”