2 Cougar Soccer Teams Win Tournaments, Others Make Strong Showings

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Cougar Soccer Club had a strong start to the spring season with two teams winning pre-season tournaments and several other teams performing well in their tournaments.

U11 Premier Win Saddle Brook Tournament

The Boys U11 Premier team won the Four Annual Falcons Spring Tournament with two wins and a tie in Saddle Brook on March 17. Its stingy defense was the difference as it won the tie breaker for the title based on allowing only one goal. 

Cougar SC opened the day with a tight 1-1 tie against American Soccer Club. After that tie, Cougar SC didn’t allow another goal and its offense exploded for 10 goals in two games – a 2-0 win against Maroons Soccer Club and a 8-0 drubbing of Saddle Brook to close out the tournament. Jack DePiero and Deacon GIlligan combined for 10 goals to lead the Cougar SC attack.

Three other boys teams finished second in their Saddle Brook divisions – U12 Boys Elite, U13 Boys Elite and U9 Boys Elite. The U12 boys tied for first with a 2-0-1 record but missed on the trophy through a tiebreaker. The U13 Boys Elite and U9 Boys Elite each went 1-1-1 at the tournament.

Boys U11 Premier

U12 Girls Elite Brings Home Saddle Brook Title

A year ago, the math didn’t work out for the Cougar SC 2012 girls at the 2023 Falcons Spring Tournament – they lost out on the trophy based on the third tie breaker.

But in 2024, the Cougar SC defense ensured there would be no math. They didn’t allow a single goal as Cougar SC avenged their 2023 disappointment with three shutout victories on March 16. 

The backline of Eleanor Winkfield, Fiona Lowe, Rain Ruditz, Ava Robinson and Lila Ackerman suffocated their opponents SFL (2-0) Saddle Brook Select (1-0) and Saddle Brook Falcons (1-0). Goalie Lena Squilla made 10 saves total against SFL and Saddle Brook select – including a leaping stop just below the crossbar on a free kick to preserve the shutout. Amelia Connolly made four saves in the clinching shutout against Saddle Brook Falcons.

The victory against Saddle Brook Falcons was the closest match of the tournament as Cougar SC battled in a very physical match. Isabelle Youngren broke the scoreless tie with 10 minutes left in the game when she battled for a loose ball in the box and knocked home the game winner. Esme Navarro and Rayah Ryan controlled the midfield in the closing minutes to help Cougar SC bring home the title as several players came down with strep throat and couldn’t play.

The U11 Girls Elite finished third in their division, finishing 0-1-2 but rallied for a late goal to tie the first place team to close out the day on a high note. The U9 Girls Elite also finished third thanks to a 6-0 victory in its last game of the tournament.

Girls U12 Elite

Boys U10 Elite Reaches Championship at Union County Kickoff

The Boys U10 Elite dropped a tight 4-3 match with SC Gjoa to finish second in the 2024 Union County Kickoff on March 10. Cougar SC advanced to the championship by winning its bracket (7-0 against Branchburg and 1-0 against STA Morris United) and then defeated North Brunswick 2-1 in the semifinals. 

Two other Cougar teams advanced to the semifinals in the tournament. Boys U15 Elite tied SFL and SC Gjoa to finish second in its bracket and then dropped a tight 1-0 match to WSA Union County in the semifinals.

Boys U11 Elite finished second in its bracket with a win against Parsippany and a loss to Summit before falling to Madison in the semifinals.

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