Lakewood Legacy Soccer Tournament starts strong

Lakewood Legacy captain Maria Smith maneuvers her way through defenders. - AKAASH SAINI The Times/Globe
Lakewood Legacy captain Maria Smith maneuvers her way through defenders.
— image credit: AKAASH SAINI The Times/Globe

The third annual Lakewood Legacy Netbuster Tournament started off with a bang as 48 teams of different age groups and genders fought for the tournament's championship. To start off the event, the Legacy teams were in full form; showing off their array of talent and tricks in many different age groups.

First-day action included the 16-year-old girls bracket, where Lakewood faced off against the Reds of Snohomish. The Legacy girls won the seemingly easy match, 1-0.

During the entire game which had two 45-minute halves Snohomish was only able to advance the ball on offense four times, while the remainder of the match had the Reds on defense. Lakewood coach Steve Brown was in a tough position being four players down and not having a full bench to support the team, yet still they were able to dominate in a convincing fashion.

"These girls never give up and for sure we are going to win the tournament," Brown added.

If the oldest competing girls team from Lakewood wasn't impressive enough, there was also the oldest competing boys team from Lakewood who impressed not only few, but all. In a pounding, a 6-2 win against rivals Evergreen of Everett, the 14-year-old bracket Legacy boys finally started clicking after the first half was done. Lakewood was up, 1-0, then watched Evergreen tie up the score at 1 apiece.

The rest of the match, Evergreen was overwhelmed with the Legacy's athleticism and quality teamwork. Even Lakewood's goalkeeper was able to contribute to the score toward the end of the match. Lakewood beat Evergreen earlier this year in the State Cup Finals. Legacy coach Alfredo Ramirez knows his team very well and knows they got "motivated" after the first goal by the opposing team.

"This team is so balanced that everyone can play multiple positions," he said. "I always feel a win with this team, but sometimes it doesn't happen."

After winning with a team that has been together for so long, one can't help feel a tournament championship coming along for this team, as well as the many other equally talented Legacy teams.

Akaash Saini will be a senior this fall at Lakewood High School where he participates in cross country and announces the school's volleyball games. He's a contributing writer for Marysville Globe and Arlington Times sports.

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