Steamboat Springs At the end of three days of soccer, all that separated the hometown U12 boys soccer team from its second Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament title was a single goal.
Steamboat lost to the Colorado Rush Advanced, 1-0, in Sunday's championship match.
"My players were extremely disappointed, but I wasn't," Steamboat coach Michael de Jong said. "Our team played so well. If we would have played this team a year ago, we would have lost by six goals."
But with the exception of a goal late in the first half of Sunday's championship game, de Jong felt his team was up to the task.
"It was a tight, well-played game," de Jong said.
But it was not the only tight game during Sunday's championship round of the 25th annual Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament.
In fact, 10 of the 14 championship games were decided by a single goal.
"It was an exciting final day," tournament director Kris Rowse said. "We had a lot of evenly matched finals and some great soccer."
Teams leaving Steamboat with titles include the Colorado Edge Black in the U18 girls division. The Edge downed Grand Junction High School, 2-1, in the championship tilt.
The U16 girls title also was decided in a tight game with the Colorado Hammers slipping past the Blaze in a 2-1 game.
There was a little more offense in the U14 girls championship, but once again, the title came down to one goal as the Broomfield Blast topped the Colorado Rush Fireballs, 5-4. The RMSA Cougars topped the Broomfield Blast, 4-3, in the U13 title match, and the Colorado Edge Black team took home the U12 title with a 2-1 victory against Spitfire.
In the youngest competitive division, the Broomfield Blast earned a 1-0 win against the Long Beach Speed Demons.
On the boys' side, the Grand Junction Tigers earned the U18 title with a 3-2 win against the Impact White. Thompson Club United slipped past Craig in a 2-1 contest to win the U16 title, and the Trebol Arsenal earned the U13 title with a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Storm Blue.
In the only two games that were not decided by a single goal, the U14 boys title went to the Avalanche, who downed the NCSC Bootleggers in a 5-3 contest, and the U11 title went to The Colorado Ice White after a 5-1 win against the Broomfield Blast (white).
Two titles were awarded to teams in the U10 recreational division based on points awarded in a round-robin format.
The Grand Junction Tigers won the U10 boys recreational division, and the Steamboat Springs Flames finished second in the division. The Blizzard earned the title on the girls' side with the Arvada Edge Shockers finishing second in that division.
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