New Mexico takes title in Mt. Sopris Cup event
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — In a tournament final that involved a pair of teams from New Mexico, top-seeded Marissa out of Albuquerque scored the lone goal of the title game in the 78th minute to top fourth-seeded Athletico Espanola, 1-0, on July 20 to win the Mt. Sopris Cup championship at Gates soccer Park on the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus.
Tournament play was fast and competitive, with teams from Glenwood Springs, Aurora, Westminster, Denver, Fort Collins and Albuquerque vying for the first leg of the Tres Copa’s trophy. And while the tournament final could of been played in Colorado’s neighboring state to the south simply for the sake of proximity, no one, especially the teams involved, would have wanted it that way, the excitement was tremendous.
“The teams were thrilled to be playing on such a quality soccer pitch in the Championship match and have already booked their return spot for the next tournament leg in October,” tournament director Steve White said. “Each of our guests were awed by the beauty and conditions of Gates Soccer Park.”
Not only were the playing fields and views a highlight, but the competition was fierce. With 18 games played over the weekend, only two games had a goal differential greater than three goals, demonstrating the competition matched up extremely well, something not always seen in an adult tournament. Most of the games were decided by a one- and two-goal differential or ended in a tie, making the atmosphere very competitive.
While each specific tournament event boasts it’s own Championship Trophy and awards, the winner of three championships in the series will be awarded the Tres Copas crystal trophy.
“That triple could happen in three consecutive tournaments or could take years to accomplish, but either way it keeps the teams coming back,” White said.
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