Columbus Day weekend has become a fun weekend for most around the Delaware Valley these days, especially when the weather is nice, as folks try to recapture some summer fun. Columbus Day weekend also marks the height of the soccer season in Cinnaminson, where the U-14 Charge participated in and won the Cape Express Tournament in Cape May.
The Charge had to win three games to win their bracket before advancing to play a fourth game, which was the title game, against Horsham. The Charge defeated the Pennsylvania team 2-0 to capture the crown, the first ever title the Charge has won (including the regular season).
“It came down to their heart because we finished that championship with 12 girls because of injuries and we actually had a girl get sick. You play 11 on a side. It wasn’t necessarily skill or speed or ability to score goals. They kind of just willed their way to a win," head coach Steve Vranich said.
"We are not the most talented team in terms of skills, they just kind of work hard and play like a team. They should be 4-0. We dominate in the beginning of every game, have a zillion chances and don’t score. The other team dominated us in first half, we were exhausted, and it worked out in our favor by picking it up in second half.”
The Charge is 1-2-1 on the season, which comes to a close following the Cinnaminson Thanksgiving Tournament, which will be played throughout town the weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“This was our fifth year in the tournament and the first time this team ever won the tournament, or anything, including a division or a tournament,” Vranich said. “They have taken second place a couple times in different things. This is their first actual championship that they’ve won whether it is a division or a tournament.”
The Charge used the weekend to bond not only as a team but also with the parents, as every minute of down time was used for team and parent outings. The Charge is the last remaining team from Cinnaminson to play in the annual tournament, which used to feature almost every team from the township in years past. Coach Vranich gives most of the credit to his captains, who took it upon themselves to give the team a speech prior to the championship game.
“Prior to the title game we all went to brunch, the players and the parents. Our three captains sat at the lunch table and on the back of the menu wrote down a speech to give to the team prior to the title game. I didn’t have to give a speech so all I told them was that ‘I was proud of them just getting here, win or lose, that’s it,’” Vranich said.