About 9 hours after the first ball was kicked, District Sports put an exclamation point on the 11th Annual DC SCORES Cup.
Trailing four-time SCORES Cup champion Marriott by a goal with just minutes to play — having squandered a two-goal lead — the fourth-year participant scored twice in the span of 60 seconds to claim a thrilling championship game victory, 4-3.
The game capped off the largest, most successful SCORES Cup to date — featuring a tournament-record 30 teams and more than 80 games. The weather was perfect at the Maryland SoccerPlex, and many long-time participants called the Cup their best ever regardless of the outcomes on the field.
The event raised more than $100,000 that will directly benefit over 1,450 low-income youth in the District at 42 schools who participate in DC SCORES' year-long Arts/Athletics/Academics program.
Not only was each company or firm guaranteed five games on the pristine turf fields at the SoccerPlex — there were many other fun aspects of the day:
After the first few games, everyone gathered on the field closest to the DJ for a DC SCORES presentation during which new board member Barton Bishop of Sport and Spine Rehab; SCORES Cup Committee member Jeff Schwartz of Alston & Bird LLP; and Executive Director Amy Nakamoto introduced the cause to participants maybe unfamiliar with DC SCORES and informed the 500 or so professionals how they can get involved volunteering, offering their professional expertise, or in another capacity.
Then Nakamoto handed the microphone to AmeriCorps staff member and coach Shakeria Reed, who told the poignant story of a program participant, Terrence, who was able to overcome a very difficult life situation because of the opportunity to be on a DC SCORES team. Later in the day, participants mentioned that they would have loved to meet Terrence.
Dozens of participants felt the impact of DC SCORES through Reed's story and expressed interest in volunteering or seeing programming in person.
After Reed's speech, tournament members were surprised to be introduced to U.S. soccer's Oguchi Onyewu, who spoke briefly about an exciting new partnership between his nonprofit G.O. Global and DC SCORES and then hung around for over an hour signing autographs and posing for photos.
Of course, there were also giveaways from Modell's Sporting Goods and an awesome lunch and drinks served by tournament participant Occasions Caterers. And with so many games taking place, Sport and Spine Rehab employees — who also entered a team — were always on the ready to deal with the inevitable minor injuries, twisted ankles and more, and even give massages when requested.
The long day in the sun wouldn't have been possible without a large donation of tables and chairs from Perfect Settings — which allowed DC SCORES to set up a large tented seating area — and 40 jugs of water from DrinkMore Water.
Thanks to generous donors and 30 teams of professionals young and old — playing in their first Cup or their 10th — the 11th version of the tournament was widely heralded as the best yet.
We want to thank all the teams, and especially the captains who led the effort to raise close to $15,000 during the Razoo fundraising competition prior to tournament day. You made such an action-packed day of soccer possible.
ALJAZEERA; Alston & Bird LLP; Arnold & Porter LLP; Bingham McCutchen LLP; Blackboard Inc.; Booz Allen Hamilton; CenturyLink; Clark Construction; Clinical Care Options; Covington & Burling LLP; Cresa Washington DC; DC Stoddert Soccer; District Sports; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Latham & Watkins LLP; Marriott; Merrill Lynch; Nathan Associates, Inc.; Occasions Catering; PricewaterhouseCoopers (2); Sport and Spine Rehab; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; The Advisory Board Company; Venable LLP; Volkswagen Group of America; Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; Williams & Connolly LLP; Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.
We'll see you in 2014!
Tournament photos coming on Flickr and Facebook.
Visit the tournament webpage for the final bracket and more!