Story by Scott Harrigan, Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Victoria, BC (ISN) – With the long weekend coming to an end, the finals for the 2012 Juan de Fuca Masters Classic soccer tournament were held on Monday and were dominated by teams from Washington State who were victorious in each division.

First, the 55+ division took to the pitch, as local soccer legend Ian Bridge and his teammates from Seattle FC Kings battled our lone finalist from the Island, the Bays Alumni. The Seattle team, actually from Snoqualmie, Washington, got off to an early 2-0 lead scoring in the first minute and again at the five minute mark. To the bays credit, they fought hard to tie the game up before the midway point of the first half, only to surrender a late first half goal to our friends from the south.

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By the time the second half started, the boys from Seattle were in a groove and proved to much for the Bays, scoring a couple of late goals to make the final 5-2 Kings. 

Next up was the 48+ division, playing in the middle of three perfectly groomed fields at the Juan de Fuca grounds.  Keeping with what was the theme of the day, two more Seattle area teams went head to head in what was the closest of the matches. FTI 48’s from Bellevue beat FC Kings of Snoqualmie 4-2 in what was, at times, a chippy affair. It’s a funny thing to listen to these guys before the game talking to each other and then hear them talk while playing, it seems they all get British accents all of sudden and their game faces are serious, yet in a most friendly and safe environment.

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At one point during the match a player went down with an injury only to have the opposing team kick the ball out of bounds to stop the play and attend to the injury.  It’s not like the soccer you see on television where a player takes a Phantom kick or trip, rolls around like a fool, gets up and runs like a deer straight away after the ref gives the innocent guy a yellow card or free kick. These guys play the game with passion because they simply love the sport and if your hurt, your hurt, period.  You could see the intensity of their play and a strong desire to win, but you could also see the sportsmanship and gentlemanly qualities of the game as well.

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While this game was going on, the 40+ final featuring, yes you guessed it, two more Seattle area teams,  was taking place and featured the Roosters FC from Sammamish who took on FTI 40’s from good old Bellevue. The FTI boys took an early 2-0 lead in a game played mostly in the Roosters end the entire first half. If not for the Roosters keeper and a few missed FTI chances, it could of been much worse indeed. The half ended with some frustration from some Roosters players who no doubt wanted this win, given the fact they play each other back home in league play, but the ref was quick to quiet things down and the boys could get a drink and some much needed rest to mount a comeback in the second half.

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The FTI 40’s – Winners of the 40+ Division (Photo: Kasey Eriksen)

The FTI lads came out the same way as they did in the first, pushing the play to their opponents.  The third FTI goal was a real beauty, a pass from midfield to the outside right winger in full run, who controlled the ball until he was just inside the 18 yard box delivering a bullet over the head of the Roosters goalie who had no chance. The fourth FTI goal was an easy tap in on the goal line, as a very tired and fed up Rooster team, could not stem the FTI attack.  The Roosters did manage a late goal to break the shutout, but this game was never in any danger for FTI, with the game ending 4-1 FTI.

Overall, it was yet another great event for all who attended, great weather, great soccer, lots of old / new friends made and some much needed refreshments in the beer gardens.   ISN met a couple and their boys from Redmond, Washington –  Brian McIntyre his lovely wife Lisa and their two boy’s Kyle and Cameron – who have been attending the tournament for the last 12 years.  Brian is a rookie this year on the over 55’s and was quick to point out that the hazing ritual for his first experience in this division was only a few wedgies from the boys.  He plays club soccer back home and get this, he a Canucks fan!

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The McIntyre Family from Redmond, Washington (Photo: Kasey Eriksen)

Nevertheless, he was on the championship side that won their division. Lisa mentioned that they just love this weekend and look forward to this event each year, given the fact that the whole family can enjoy this weekend with all the activities Victoria has to offer when not playing soccer. This year Lisa shopped till she dropped and both took the kids to the B.C Museum, Wooden Boat Festival and ate at some great restaurants to fill in their weekend.  We are sure they have already gone home and circled this weekend on their calender for next year!

About the Juna de Fuca Masters Soccer Club

The Juan de Fuca Masters Soccer Club was established in 1977 with the goal of supporting mature players to continue to participate in soccer activities. The club has grown to its present compliment of 3 teams, with over 60 players and an additional 25 to 30 associate or social members.

Since 1991, the club has sponsored a Labor Day Tournament, which has recruited teams from as far away as San Diego.  The monies raised at the Tournament help the club support local Western Community programs, including an annual scholarship at Belmont High School, Kidsport, the Paul Valentine Memorial Basketball Tournament and the Bikes for X-Mas program, which donates upwards of a dozen bikes to children who might not otherwise be able to have one. The Club receives excellent support from the local Prince Edward Legion # 92, the 6 Mile Pub, the Armed Forces, the Admiral’s Walk Canadian Tire and its many tireless volunteers without whose help many of our activities could not be completed.