With an undefeated regular season and a first-place finish at the 2013 PowerBlast tournament, hopes and expectations were high for the Sun Devil Power Soccer Club as they entered the 2013 Premier Conference Cup.
Held at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, MN, the top nine teams in the United States Power Soccer Association competed against each other for a chance at a National Championship. For three days, the Sun Devils and the rest of the teams showcased their skills in pursuit of the 2013 Premier Cup first-place trophy.
If the Devils were going to emerge victorious with the Premier Cup title, they would undoubtedly have to go through the defending National Champions, the Minnesota Magic or the perennial power house, the Circle City Rollers. It was no easy task, but the Devils were up for the challenge.
During pool play, the Sun Devils showed that they came to play, going undefeated with wins against the Tampa Thunder, BORP Bay Earthquakes and CNY United. The entire team showed great resolve and determination as the playoff rounds begun.
After earning a first-round bye, the Sun Devils met up against the Minnesota Magic in the Semi-Finals. The two teams met earlier in the regular season in Ft. Wayne, IN and played to a thrilling 3-3 tie, the Devils only non-win of the season. If their earlier match-up was any indication, fans were in for a real treat.
And both teams didn't disappoint.
From the opening whistle, the action was fast-paced and back and forth as a total of 15 goals were scored during the match. It was a close-fought battle for most of the game, but Minnesota pulled away in the end with a 9-6 win. It was the first loss of the season for the Devils and their National Title hopes ended one game short of the Championship match.
But it wasn't over quite yet for the Sun Devils as their final match was against the Turnstone Flyers for third place. The Devils rebounded nicely after their rough semi-final match, quickly pulling away from the Flyers and coming away with a 6-1 win and the third-place trophy.
The third-place finish is the highest finish ever in the Premier Cup for the Devils and the trophy wasn't the only hardware the team walked away with during the tournament. Club athletes and siblings Katie and Jordan Dickey were named to the inaugural 2013 Premier Cup All-Tournament team.
All in all, it was a solid performance by the Sun Devils. The team will build on their successful 2013 season and definitely be a contender for the 2014 Premier Conference Championship.
Until next time, GO DEVILS!