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Goochland United Soccer Association enjoys strong showings in 2020 fall season

Goochland United Soccer Association enjoys strong showings in 2020 fall season

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The Goochland United Soccer Association enjoyed a tremendous showing in the Richmond Strikers Capital Fall Classic Tournament, held Nov. 7-8, as the U10 coed soccer team and the U12 Dynamite, coached by Jason Funkhouser and Michael Wallmeyer, brought home the championship trophies in their respective tournament brackets.

The GUSA Dynamite won all four of its tournament games, bouncing back from a tied score at halftime in the final to secure their position as tournament champions.

The championship capped an undefeated fall season for the Dynamite ahead of this coming weekend’s tournament.

According to the coaches, most of the Dynamite’s team has played together for many consecutive seasons and years, and their camaraderie is strong both on and off the field as they’ve become teammates and friends.

For the coaches, a highlight from this season was seeing the growth in the ways that the team communicates with each other during a game. They noted that, when the parents on the sidelines are taking a break from cheering the team on, you can hear the boys talk with each other on where to pass the ball and how to back up their teammates. This team, the coaches said, has formed a strategy and works hard to put it into play.

The U10 team, playing two games on Saturday and two on Sunday, won its first three games (5-0 against the Strikers-Chesterfield, 5-1 against FC Richmond and 7-0 against another Strikers team) and tied the last game 2-2 against the Strikers Cowboys.

The players on the team were Copeland Carter, Lucas Chewning, Brayden Ford, Tyler Funkhouser, Warner McClure, Gavin Ross, Lincoln Seredni, Aliyah Sikes, Ryder Sims, Charles Wallmeyer and Lawson Winter.

U14 team returns

It’s been quite a few years since GUSA last fielded a team in an age division higher than U12.

But the program was able to do just that in a season that was able to take place this fall after the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic knocked out Virginia sports in the spring, and the U14 coed team excelled.

The unit features a mix of fifth, sixth, seventh and a few eighth graders who ranged from 10 to 13 years old, making it the youngest team in the league.

That didn’t stop the group from pulling off a winning season of 6 wins and 3 losses, with one of those losses coming to a U15 team, prior to tying Rockville in its regular-season finale.

“I’ve been very proud of how the team has come together,” said GUSA coach Brian Boyle, who added that over half of the players have not played together previously.

“I’m not sure if it was their Goochland pride or their desire for some normalcy in this pandemic,” Boyle said, “but I haven’t been able to satisfy the team’s drive to compete. If it was up to them, every week would be a doubleheader.”

One memorable moment for Boyle and the team was when one of their opponents gathered select “Elite” players from other teams to give them a more competitive edge against Goochland.

“When our players recognized the ‘Elite’ players from other teams they previously played, it ignited a fire within the team,” Boyle said. “Nothing was going to distract them from victory.”

Another moment that made Boyle very proud was when they played a team that he said was far outmatched, and in the second half of that game, five of Goochland’s players “displayed great sportsmanship” and joined their opponent’s team so that they could level out the teams.

“Even though it stung a bit to score goals on their own team, it was a much better experience,” Boyle said, “and it made for a great day for all involved.”

Upcoming tournament

Multiple GUSA’s teams will compete in this weekend’s Richmond Kickers Mega Blast Recreational Tournament. On Saturday in the Coed U12 Revolution bracket, GUSA Dynamite will play the Richmond Kickers Warriors at 11:30 a.m. and the Kickers Thunder at 5:20 p.m. Dynamite will also play Colonial Heights CHSA Thunder on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

In the U12 Fire bracket, the GUSA Falcons play PWSI Courage (9:20 a.m.) and Kernersville KSA (2:40 p.m.) on Saturday, as well as the Richmond Strikers Cavaliers (8:30 a.m.) and the Richmond Kickers RK Rec Bryan Park U12 team (11:10 a.m.) on Sunday.

All U12 games are at Ukrop Park.

In the U14 bracket, GUSA Pride will play two different Lake Gaston Soccer Lakehawks teams on Saturday (10 a.m.) at Hensley Park and Sunday (1 p.m.) at Ukrop Park. The Pride will also play an FC Richmond team on Saturday (1 p.m.) at Hensley Park.

Staff Reports

The Goochland United Soccer Association enjoyed a tremendous showing in the Richmond Strikers Capital Fall Classic Tournament, held Nov. 7-8, as the U10 coed soccer team and the U12 Dynamite, coached by Jason Funkhouser and Michael Wallmeyer, brought home the championship trophies in their respective tournament brackets.The GUSA Dynamite won all four of its tournament games, bouncing back from a tied score at halftime in the final to secure their position as tournament champions.  The championship capped an undefeated fall season for the Dynamite ahead of this coming weekend’s tournament. According to the coaches, most of the Dynamite’s team has played together for many consecutive seasons and years, and their camaraderie is strong both on and off the field as they’ve become teammates and friends.  For the coaches, a highlight from this season was seeing the growth in the ways that the team communicates with each other during a game. They noted that, when the parents on the sidelines are taking a break from cheering the team on, you can hear the boys talk with each other on where to pass the ball and how to back up their teammates. This team, the coaches said, has formed a strategy and works hard to put it into play.The U10 team, playing two games on Saturday and two on Sunday, won its first three games (5-0 against the Strikers-Chesterfield, 5-1 against FC Richmond and 7-0 against another Strikers team) and tied the last game 2-2 against the Strikers Cowboys.  The players on the team were Copeland Carter, Lucas Chewning, Brayden Ford, Tyler Funkhouser, Warner McClure, Gavin Ross, Lincoln Seredni, Aliyah Sikes, Ryder Sims, Charles Wallmeyer and Lawson Winter.

U14 team returnsIt’s been quite a few years since GUSA last fielded a team in an age division higher than U12. But the program was able to do just that in a season that was able to take place this fall after the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic knocked out Virginia sports in the spring, and the U14 coed team excelled. The unit features a mix of fifth, sixth, seventh and a few eighth graders who ranged from 10 to 13 years old, making it the youngest team in the league.That didn’t stop the group from pulling off a winning season of 6 wins and 3 losses, with one of those losses coming to a U15 team.“I’ve been very proud of how the team has come together,” said GUSA coach Brian Boyle, who added that over half of the players have not played together previously.  “I’m not sure if it was their Goochland pride or their desire for some normalcy in this pandemic,” Boyle said, “but I haven’t been able to satisfy the team’s drive to compete.  If it was up to them, every week would be a doubleheader.”One memorable moment for Boyle and the team was when one of their opponents gathered select “Elite” players from other teams to give them a more competitive edge against Goochland.  “When our players recognized the ‘Elite’ players from other teams they previously played, it ignited a fire within the team,” Boyle said. “Nothing was going to distract them from victory.”Another moment that made Boyle very proud was when they played a team that he said was far outmatched, and in the second half of that game, five of Goochland’s players “displayed great sportsmanship” and joined their opponent’s team so that they could level out the teams.  “Even though it stung a bit to score goals on their own team, it was a much better experience,” Boyle said, “and it made for a great day for all involved.”      Upcoming tourneySeveral of GUSA’s teams will compete in this weekend’s Richmond Kickers Mega Blast Recreational Tournament. On Saturday in the Coed U12 Revolution bracket, GUSA Dynamite will play the Richmond Kickers Warriors at 11:30 a.m. and the Kickers Thunder at 5:20 p.m. Dynamite will also play Colonial Heights CHSA Thunder on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. In the U12 Fire bracket, the GUSA Falcons play PWSI Courage (9:20 a.m.) and Kernersville KSA (2:40 p.m.) on Saturday, as well as the Richmond Strikers Cavaliers (8:30 a.m.) and the Richmond Kickers RK Rec Bryan Park U12 team (11:10 a.m.) on Sunday. All U12 games are at Ukrop Park.In the U14 bracket, GUSA Pride will play two different Lake Gaston Soccer Lakehawks teams on Saturday (10 a.m.) at Hensley Park and Sunday (1 p.m.) at Ukrop Park. The Pride will also play an FC Richmond team on Saturday (1 p.m.) at Hensley Park.

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