"We ended up in the final against each other, which was really nice," he said. "I was extremely proud. It was really nice to see that they are doing so well and they're working so hard." Both teams not only won their respective groups, they went undefeated en route to the final. "I didn't want to have too many subs," Sanders said. "One team was the winner of one bracket, the other team was my Cosmos White team that one bracket, the Cosmos Black team won the other bracket."
The White team edged SCA in its final group match, 3-2—the championship game, however, was another story. Sanders decided not to coach either team, but rather let the players play. "I just made the subs honestly" he said "so everybody could get equal playing time. I just let them play. I didn't coach at all. I was on the bench making the subs."
The Cosmos White team grabbed a 4-1 lead before the Cosmos Black side staged a late comeback, scoring twice and almost equalized. "They were pretty close to making it 4-4," the coach said. "They missed some chances, but good work from the goalie as well." "Of course, one team was disappointed," Sanders said. "Sometimes I try to emphasize that it's not about results, but all about development. Of course, if you're in a final, you want to win. So, I understand. One team was obviously disappointed, but eventually we took a picture with the whole team and everybody was wearing the same jersey...We were all winners."
Sanders has been quite impressed with his team's commitment to the game and the level of the event. "I think the main thing is that all the girls want to work so hard to get better and I don't have to say anything," he said. If you've got to a team, sometimes you have to say, 'Hey, let's go on the field right now. We're done with drinking water, we're done with chit-chatting.' Those girls, they want to play. They want to play every day if they can."
NJ Elite and others will certainly have many more days to play. Futsal regionals start later this month, which will give teams ample opportunities to prepare for upcoming futsal events and the outdoor season.
Congratulations to all Champions and Finalists, and thank you to all who participated for making this another great soccer weekend!