Two Dartmouth soccer teams win state titles
Two teams representing Dartmouth Youth Soccer Association’s FC program took state titles June 27 at the weekend-long state championship tournament, known as the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions, in Lancaster.
FC is a competitive program within the Dartmouth Youth Soccer Association.
The Grade 12+ Girls and the Grade 9-11 Girls Division 1 teams became state champions after their games Sunday.
The Grade 12+ Girls won their final over Walpole by a score of 2-0, while the Grades 9-11 Girls Division 1 team defeated Littleton, 5-2.
The Grade 9-11 Girls Division 2 team came within a goal of the title, losing 1-0 to Shrewsbury by way of a late score in the second half, said Dennis Leary, Dartmouth’s FC director.
Although they fell just short of the championship, that team was awarded the Sportsmanship Award by the tournament’s Sportsmanship Committee. The award is given to teams that demonstrate respect for fellow players, coaches, spectators, and referees and is a coveted honor, Leary said.
Dartmouth fielded the most teams of any community in Massachusetts, Leary said, with eight squads represented. Dartmouth FC won eight South Coast Soccer League Championships this spring, earning them the invitation to represent the league at the state level.
About 144 league championship teams, ranging from grades 5 through 12+, represented 93 different Massachusetts towns.
“Making it to MTOC is a tremendous achievement within itself,’’ Leary said. “Once there, teams are facing the best of the best that town programs can offer. To make it through the group stage and into the finals, as three of the teams did, requires a special chemistry of dedication, teamwork, and coaching to make it happen.”
Teams worked hard for their wins, he said.
“The weather conditions for finals on Sunday equated to the classic New England triple “H” (hazy, hot, and humid),’’ Leary said. “Those conditions, and the fact that the teams needed to play back-to-back semi-finals and finals at midday,’’ represented a “physically daunting task’’ for the players.
“It was a great experience to be a part of,’’ he said. “At one point there were three games going on and they all had Dartmouth teams playing in them.’’
That was, he said, “a proud moment for the club.”