Sweet 16: Soccer edition

Darrin Cline

Players from across the globe convened on the Lied Recreational Athletic Center in an effort to claim VEISHEA glory. Sixteen teams battled on the faux-turf football field in a series of intense matchups to determine the tournament’s elite squad.

Being an open tournament, players from all age ranges were welcome to play. Many teams were comprised of all ISU students, but there was no shortage of alumni, staff or even local soccer enthusiasts.

Not only were players diverse in age, but also in background. Players from Puerto Rico, South America and Africa took to the same field, all for the love of soccer.

When the dust settled, two teams remained on the pitch. Dueling it out for the championship and the all-important VEISHEA champion T-shirts, Team 6 and Team 11 faced off in the night cap.

As balls flew and shot attempts ricocheted off the crossbar, the tournament’s top two squads fought down to a 1-1 tie. The waning minutes of Wednesday evening melted away and neither team was able to break the stalwart defenses.

Team 6, officially known as the Ames Hurricanes, used their experience to pull away in the inter-generational bout. They netted two goals late in the game and walked away as VEISHEA champs with a 3-1 victory.

It was their “commitment, courage and chemistry” that allowed them to succeed according to members of the outfit.

The championship game illustrated the unique opportunity set forth via the tournaments. The Hurricanes, who allowed just one goal on the night, are a community-wide team of ISU graduate students, alums, staffers and even townies.

Event coordinator Megan Jensen recounted the event.

“It began as a hectic evening, but it ended up being an entertaining and intense set of games,” Jensen said. “They were very well played and all the players seemed to enjoy it.”

The much anticipated soccer tournament blew into Cyclone nation and was swept away by an unstoppable hurricane.