Space Coast United Soccer wins 2nd straight U18 State Cup
Members of the Space Coast United Soccer U18 team pose with their championship trophy after winning the State Cup championship for the second year in a row.
Photo Courtesy of Alberto Carrillo
The Space Coast United Soccer Club’s U18 boys team had an answer for those who called last year’s State Cup championship win a fluke.
They did it again.
“It’s not a coincidence (to win it) twice,” forward Tyler Wilcox said.
After beating the C2NER St. Pete Raiders 4-3 on penalty kicks in the semifinals, SCU knocked off Florida Rush 2-1 in the championship game in Auburndale last month.
“It was a great feeling to win it again because … all the way from last year there were people and teams saying we got lucky, we don’t deserve it (and) we’re not the best team,” defender Brandon Berg said. “We just kind of shrug it off and just keep going. We keep working together. We work for each other. That brought us our second championship this year.”
The victory booked a ticket for Space Coast United in the regional tournament, which will run from June 18 to 25 in Little Rock, Ark. It also proved to be quite a historic moment for the program, which is making Brevard County soccer club history.
“We’ve broken a couple of records,” Coach Scott Armstrong said. “We’re the first boys team to ever win a State Cup, and we’re the first boys team to ever win back-to-back.”
That’s quite a feat for a team that includes keepers Bruce Turner and Jessie Della Porta, defenders Scott Alliance, Berg, Michael Martin, Robert Madden and Tanner Wilcox; midfielders Dylan White, Alex Hall, Mike White, John Schneider, Luca Campanini, Dominic Carrillo and Oscar Sang and forwards Kade Sweeney, Cisco Molledo, Stephen Pachaeco and Tyler Wilcox.
In the semifinal victory, SCU got a goal from Tyler Wilcox, a brilliant coach from Schneider on a bicycle kick along with a goal from Campanini. When it came down to penalty kicks, Turner came up big, making three saves while Campanini, Madden, Berg and Molledo all converted for Space Coast United.
Tyler Wilcox and Campanini each scored again in the final as Space Coast United celebrated victory once again.
Now it’s back to the regionals where the players and their coach agree experience will play a key role. Whereas last year’s team was more defensive minded, this group has been more of an offensive team.
Still, with strong leadership from players like Berg, Hall, Campanini and White, and the stellar play of Madden, Alliance and Schneider – among others – this is a team that has a chance to go far.
Many of the players have been together since they were 13 years old, which has created a bond that plays out on the field and sets SCU apart from other teams.
“The biggest problem we have in Brevard County, in my opinion, is when you have a club like us, we have to keep the team together at young ages,” Armstrong said.
“We develop them at 13. We don’t just take a bunch of kids from everywhere. We grow them. We develop them. And it’s that team unity that (makes them strong).
“This team refuses to lose. They are like the Seabiscuit of soccer. It’s the best way to explain it. They know each other. They trust each other. They’re a team. Developing that team concept is what makes us successful.”