Eastern Shore Team Takes VA Beach Classic

BERLIN- The under-17 River Soccer Club Rovers, a premiere-level soccer team made up of some of the top young players on the Eastern Shore, last week won the 2013 Virginia Beach Seaside Classic with a dramatic overtime win in the championship game.

Coached by Worcester Prep Head Coach Terry Underkoffler, the River Soccer Club Rovers features some of the best public and private school soccer players on the shore including many from the local area and the Bayside Conference. Last weekend, the Rovers traveled to the annual Virginia Beach Seaside Classic and topped some of the best teams in the mid-Atlantic area to win the title.

In its first game, the Rovers cruised past the Beach FC under-18 team, 4-0, on goals by Daniel Garza, Luis Cruz, Decatur’s Nick White, and Parkside’s Gabe Wenke. Sam Connor of Indian River record five saves to earn a shutout.

In the second game, the Rovers beat CASL of North Carolina, 1-0, on a goal by Greg Ray. Ross Bednar of Bennett recorded six saves in the contest to keep the Rovers’ shutout in the tournament intact. In the third game, the Rovers tied Central Virginia, 0-0, as Connor recorded six games to keep the shutout string together.

The tie in the third game was enough to send the unbeaten Rovers into the championship to face Beach FC of host Virginia Beach. In a tough, physical game, Beach FC scored first on a penalty kick and made the 1-0 lead stand up for much of the contest. However, with under a minute left, the Rovers’ Luis Cruz scored after a penalty in the box to tie the game at 1-1.

The two teams battled in two overtime periods without scoring, sending the contest into penalty kicks. Each team converted on three of the first four attempts to boil the entire tournament down to one shot for each. The Rovers’ Robbie Budd of Delmar buried his shot in the lower left corner, putting the burden on goalkeeper Bednar, who dove to block the Beach FC shot and preserve the win, and the championship, for the Rovers.