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The CC Force must like Jarrettsville.

The Central Carroll Soccer Club under-14 boys squad has won the Old Line State Classic the past two years it's gone up there. Coach Dave McCabe explained the opposition at last weekend's 23rd Classic was particularly challenging.

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In fact, one very tough team came all the way from Syracuse, N.Y. to play — and then lost the championship game to the Carroll County kids. That loss was a 2-1 decision in which the gave the Force the tournament championship.

McCabe has coached the team for five years now, and there are still six holdovers from that first season in 2014. That was a rough one.

The boys were young and inexperienced, and they took their lumps as a travel team. However, McCabe and those six holdovers from the first year have seen a whole lot of improvement in their team since then.

A lot of that can be explained by the fact that the team went out and got some help in trainer David Awasum.

“He runs all the drills and the game prep. He works on foot skills and passing skills. The team is very good with passing and ball control now," said McCabe, who noted other coaches often compliment his team on its ball-handling.

So, while there is a steady turnover — three new players joined this year — they are quickly brought up to speed. As a result, the team's play has continually improved over the years, and the boys are far ahead of where they started.

The improvement has showed up in their performance on the field. After their slow start, they began to win tournaments here and there.

They also played in the EDP league last year, but they were only so-so in that loop. This year, with most of his players back, McCabe and assistant coach Andrey Tsamnk felt their team would be in the hunt for championships in tournaments and particularly in the EDP league.

Rec Sports Spotlight for April 28, 2019.

Last year as an under-13 team, they won the Chesapeake Cup in addition to the 2018 Old Line Classic. They were finalists in the Hershey Cup tournament.

“We felt we were ready to compete, and I expected to win our division this season," McCabe said.

The locals were a semifinalist in the Baltimore Mania tournament but only fair in the Baltimore Classic. However, so far the Force is 4-0 in its EDP League division.

And, the kids would do well in Jarrettsville.

Last weekend was very windy, particularly in Saturday's two preliminary games.

“Everything was impacted by that wind,” McCabe said. “It was a cross wind, and anything in the air was going all over the place. In the first game, the Charles Village team put up a battle, and we were unable to capitalize on our scoring opportunities.”

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Finally with 30 seconds remaining, CC Force scored for a 1-0 win.

Game 2 against GPS Syracuse was another tough one. The Force scored in the first half, and the lead held until midway through the second half. McCabe noted that the wind then took over.

“They took a shot that I thought was going over the net but the wind blew it down,” the coach said. “It hit the crossbar and went in the goal.”

Rec Sports Spotlight for April 18, 2019.

That tied things 1-1. However a tie was good enough to put his team into the semifinal game, so McCabe didn't want to his team to push too hard on offense and leave itself open for a tie-breaking goal.

The game ended in the tie, and at that point McCabe had a premonition.

"They were a good team, and I knew that if we made it to the finals, we'd have to play them," he said.

But first they had to get by Baltimore area-based Brausa United Futbol. It took two overtimes and six penalty kicks, until they managed to break a scoreless tie and get the win.

The Brousa team made five PKs but missed the last one. CC Force was in the championship game

As the coach had expected, his team faced GPS Syracuse again in the final. The Force scored two early goals, but the New York squad scored with about 10 minutes left in the game.

McCabe's kids thereafter played a conservative, defensive game and added another back liner to help choke off the visitors. The Force hung on to win 2-1.

“It got very intense near the end,” McCabe said. “But I have a good defense that did a good job of controlling it.”

After EDP is finished, the team returns to action in the fall, this time as an under-15 team.

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