After a hard-fought game and four consecutive shutouts, the Santa Barbara Soccer Club‘s Boys Under-15 squad captured the Copa Real Nike Invitational championship with a 1-0 victory over the Simi Valley Eclipse last weekend in Moorpark.
While the Boys U-15s came home with the hardware, three other teams gave the Santa Barbara Soccer Club much to be proud of in the prestigious tournament hosted by the Real So Cal Soccer Club. The Girls Under-16s reached the semifinals before falling and the Boys 16s and 14s lost narrowly in the finals, 3-1 and 2-0, respectively.
“This was a great weekend for the club, because everyone is seeing the entertaining style of soccer we are developing throughout the club, which is fun to watch,” said Lloyd Briggs, the Santa Barbara Soccer Club’s coaching director. “I am proud of all the teams.”
Throughout the tournament, the Boys Under-15s kept a clean sheet, conceding no goals in all four games. In the opening game, they beat the Simi Valley Eclipse, 2-0, on an outstanding free kick by Ryan Williams and Sanford Spivey’s well-taken second-half goal. The second game produced a defensive battle with the Bakersfield Brigade that ended in a 0-0 tie. In the third game, after some neat passing, Cliff Lekas assisted Freddy Ibarra on the game-winner for a 1-0 victory over Conejo Valley United, propelling the boys into the championship.
The title game, a rematch with Simi Valley, featured Spivey’s game-winning goal after the Santa Barbara club played an exciting and entertaining brand of soccer. Afterward, Biggs heaped special praise on the team’s ability to entertain the crowd with a quick inventive style of play, while also working very hard keeping a tight defensive unit.