The 2018 Season
It’s always bitter-sweet talking about a season that has just ended. This was one of those that you wish wouldn’t end… so soon.
During the season we had ups and downs to the point of not knowing if we would make it to the playoffs. The coaching staff always believed and that carried over to the players and eventually the fans.
We lost some games where we played better than the other teams but the ball just wouldn’t go in. That is soccer… and that is why we love it! You never know what will happen. At the end of the regular season, we had 3 teams fighting for the Southeast Division Title. The winner of the Division (SIMA Aguilas) won with only 2 points ahead of us. But the really tight race was between second (The Villages SC) and third place (Lakeland Tropics) where we tied in points (30 each) and because we had won our games against them we were the ones with a spot in the playoffs. Talk about a close one!
At the playoffs, we were the only team, out of the 4, that hadn’t won their Division and were there as “wildcard.” The defense had been solid for the whole season and we knew we could do well but needed to make sure not to miss opportunities.
The first game was against the home team who was undefeated up to that point and were considered favorites, Tormenta FC. One goal. One goal was all we needed and with that, we were off to the Southern Conference Final vs our Division’s arch nemesis, SIMA Aguilas.
We had been the only team to beat them in the regular season and we wanted to do it again. It was a battle indeed. They scored first but we came back to tie the game. The 1×1 score held up to the second extra time when we scored the second goal.
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS!!! How sweet that sounded.
One week later we were off to the National playoffs (final 4). Reading United was also undefeated and we were once again underdogs. A lone goal from them at the end of the extra time with just minutes to go into penalty kicks gave them their spot in the league’s final and our season was over.
It stung. We were so close. Our defender getting a red card for something the referee admitted he didn’t see, it stung. The missed scoring opportunities, the beautiful saves, the vibe, the fans… it was all incredible.
Our program is only 3 years old. This season was exciting from beginning to end and now we have even bigger goals for the future. Division title we have (2016). Conference title we now have (2018). PDL title next time? Yes, why not?! Coaches, staff, players and fans alike are confident about our future and after a season such as this, we can’t help but feel that way. I hope you do too.