The Metro D.C. women's team continued its domination in the U.S. Soccer Federation's Region I State Select Tournament today, winning its third straight title over Connecticut, 3-0.
Southern New York edged New Jersey, 2-1, in overtime to win the men's division of the two-day tournament held at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Each team placed ahead of eight other teams in its respective division, earning victories in a tournament that will supply players for a number of upcoming events, including the Olympic Festivities in late July and the Pan Am Games next year.
Approximately 20 players in each division were selected to participate in next week's tryouts for the Festivities, at Rutgers University. The tournament teams, together for only three weeks, were officially disbanded today.
Southern New York, highly favored in the tournament, overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to earn the overtime victory over a surprisingly tough New Jersey team.
Midway through the second half, Greg Lawrence maneuvered past the New Jersey goaltender and put in an open shot to turn the game into a 1-1 deadlock. Just seconds from the end of the first overtime, Amr Aly, on an indirect free kick, passed to teammate Jorge Augusta, who made the goal and gave Southern New York the tournament victory.
Metro D.C., which includes players from Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, had no such trouble in its final match, taking a 2-0 lead into halftime on goals by Joan Walden and Kathy Kelley. Jo Boobas scored in the second half to clinch the victory. It was the team's 17th consecutive victory in three years of state select tournament action.
"We were playing with confidence until they scored their first goal," said Connecticut Coach Dave Farrel. "Their team speed was just greater than ours, and they played with toughness -- both mental and physical -- on the field."
Consistency was an important factor in the quality of play seen here this weekend, according to Farrel. "Technically, tactically, it's just about the same," he said. "The level of play was mostly consistent -- there were no upsets. Consistency was there all the way through and, in the finals, it shows."
Although much of the attention this weekend was devoted to individual performances, as players sought to gain invitations to the Olympic Festivities tryouts, coaches had no trouble ensuring that team unity did not suffer as a result.
"We have a lot of good players," said Metro D.C. Coach Kip Germaine, "and I demand that they show their own skills within a team concept."
Germaine, who played with the defunct Washington Diplomats in 1979 and 1980, was not the only coach who reported team unity. Southern New York Coach Jim McGeough also said he enforced this concept.
"I impressed upon all the players on the team that I know their ability and I told them they wouldn't be playing if they weren't playing for the team," he said.