The Holiday Cup wrapped up on Tuesday with five closely-contested matches.
The elementary school, middle school and high school winners on Tuesday won their respective championship games by just one goal, while the Classic and Masters finals were decided by two goals. The games took place at the Wells Fargo Dimond Park Field House, marking the conclusion to the 27th running of the event.
“There’s a lot passion for soccer in this town,” RE/MAX of Juneau owner Marty McKeown said. “The Juneau Soccer Club is such a big club in this town and these kids grow up playing soccer, and then get to celebrate it with an actual competitive tournament every holiday season.”
McKeown has hosted the tournament for the last seven years, which is free to all participants and draws over 400 players of all ages. In the Master’s Division final, the last of the tournament games, McKeown simultaneously rooted on Some Stars, which included his daughter Madelynne McKeown, and Goal Patrol, which included his nephew Max Smith.
“A lot of brothers and sisters and family members playing,” McKeown said. “Some are playing against each other, like my other nephew, Max and Dominic have been playing each other in previous games. So a lot of rivalry there.”
It was Some Stars’ ninth game and Goal Patrol’s seventh game of the tournament. Besides dealing with fatigue, the Goal Patrol had a short bench against Some Stars, a combination that contributed to their 5-3 demise.
After Smith put them up 1-0, Goal Patrol lost its steam, giving up five straight goals, three to Matt Walton and one each to Nathan Schroeder and Courtney Preziosi.
In the high school championship game, Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé senior Kaiden Wilshusen scored with less than to 10 seconds left, lifting Grinch Gang past Snowball Snipers with a 5-4 victory. The victors also received goals from Kyle Dusenberry, Talon Briggs and Wallace Adams, who wasn’t expected to make the game.
“When I had told them that my mom was going into labor, they all expected me not to show up,” Adams said. “And then when I did, they were all really, really surprised. They all wanted to know how it went.”
The Thunder Mountain High School sophomore spent the first part of the day at Bartlett Regional Hospital awaiting the birth of his sister, Stella Marie. Less than an hour before game time, the baby arrived, and Adams went straight to the field.
“I love playing in the tournament, I’ve played in it since I was a little kid,” Adams said. “The most enjoyable part is just getting to play with your friends, getting to play with others that you don’t get to play with in season.”
Holiday Cup Championship Game Scores
Elementary School — Frosty Futbolers 3, Nutmeggers 2
Middle School — Grumpsicles 4, Big Beard Ballers 3
High School — Grinch Gang 5, Snowball Snipers 4
Senior — Hot Soup 6, No-L’s 1
Masters — Less Than Mightly Narwals 2, Santa’s Slayers 0
Classic — Some Stars 5, Goal Patrol 3
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.