Steamboat Springs More than 25 championship soccer games were played at Emerald Park and Ski Town fields this weekend, with the final whistle Sunday bringing an end to the 23rd annual Steamboat Mountain Tournament.
"It went extremely well," tournament director Eric Tegl said. "I don't think you could ask for it to go any smoother."
Two youth teams with local connections - SA United U-10 girls and Steamboat FC U-13 boys - advanced to championship play, and one team came away with a first-place trophy.
SA United beat Tina's Tornadoes, 4-3, while the Steamboat FC team lost to Westminster, 2-1.
SA United featured four Steamboat girls and two San Antonio girls. The girls from San Antonio were going to play on a team from Texas, but the other players had prior commitments and couldn't make the trip. So instead of missing out on the tournament, SA United coach Bob Wilson called the Steamboat Soccer Association and found four local girls who wanted to play. The players met Thursday, and by Saturday they had won a championship.
"They learned a lot," said Wilson, who is from San Antonio. "The six of them were like buddies in 48 hours."
The three-day tournament brought more than 120 teams and 2,000 players and coaches to Steamboat. Most of the age groups were broken down into three flights, with every team guaranteed to play at least three games.
Along with SA United and Steamboat FC, nine other Steamboat teams competed in the tournament.
Tegl said he received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from coaches and players about the event.
Along with a couple of shootouts in the finals, Tegl said the incredible amount of volunteers who worked throughout the weekend were a highlight.
Along with the 12 volunteers who worked to organize the tournament for 10 months, Tegl said more than 100 people worked at the area fields.
Anyone interested in helping to organize next year's tournament should contact Tegl at 819-0018.
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