Eagles soccer tourney boasts national champ
With five qualifiers from last year’s club-level collegiate national tournament in the field, this weekend’s Eagles Invitational Men’s Soccer Tournament could be a preview of the 2003 national tourney.
Weber State University – the 2002 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association champion – is one of the favorites in the field, and should be tested by a number of other squads, including the University of Kansas.
“(Weber State) was excited that Kansas was in, because Kansas is one of the teams they have to knock out (of the national tournament),” Colorado Mountain College coach and tournament organizer Steve White said. “And, of course, Kansas is looking forward to this as well.”
Other top teams include the University of Colorado Gold, CU Black, and Colorado State University.
Because many of the teams don’t play in the same regions, the Eagles tourney – which takes place at the Gates Soccer Park on the CMC-Spring Valley Campus – is one of the few opportunities for the teams to see opponents who will likely be in the national tournament.
The tournament does, however, also cater to the smaller schools, which is why White decided to break the field into to different groups, each with their own title game. The blue division features the larger schools, while the white division consists of smaller school. Each division has eight teams.
“The reason I split the tournament was to give the larger teams the opportunity to go after each other,” White said. “I felt like, by taking it into two divisions, it would make each division much more competitive.”
The CMC men’s team won’t compete in the tournament, but will play an exhibition game against Salt Lake City Community College to kick off the tournament on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
“I felt like, as the host team, we need to have at least this game as a representation of the future of our program,” White said.
The meat of the tournament starts Saturday morning with the first round of the white division at 10:30 a.m. and the first round of the blue division at 12:30 p.m. Another set of games for each division starts at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.
Pool play wraps up for the blue division at 10 a.m. on Sunday and noon for the white division. The championship game for both divisions is scheduled for 3 p.m.
“I’d like to invite all the (local) high school teams to get a feel for soccer’s next level,” White said. “And I’d like to invite the public to enjoy some of the best men’s college soccer in the Rocky Mountain region.”
The event is free, but there will be no concessions available.
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