After a few years of absence from the Big Three brotherhood of top performers in Fort Belvoir’s annual Commander’s Cup title race, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency re-established its position as a major contender. The unit toppled the reigning Commander’s Cup champion, DLA, 6-3 via penalty kicks in the FY19 intramural soccer championship final, June 11 at Fremont Field.
The 2012 Commander’s Cup champion, USALSA, having wrapped up its 2019 soccer campaign with a 5-1-1 record, kept momentum at full steam heading into the tournament, taking a quarterfinal victory over Center for Army Analysis and a critical semifinal win over perennial Cup contender, 249th Engineer Battalion.
DLA, leading in this year’s title race, managed to power its way into the championship, despite a comparatively average regular season, wrapping up the schedule as the 3rd seed in the A-division pool, with a 2-2-3 record. Nevertheless, the squad used precision ball-handling and no-prisoners approach to defense that enables the team to excel when it really counts. Having downed Intelligence and Security Command in the quarterfinals and then the top-ranked 6-1 Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in the semis, DLA arrived at Fremont riding a wave of momentum that would be tough to beat.
Despite superb ball control and precision passing from both squads, the final showdown of the year unfolded as an intense battle of defensive wills, with DLA goal keeper, Larry Newman, and USALSA goal keeper, Bruce Robinson, quickly becoming the men of the hour. DLA forward, Paul Johnson, managed to boot one in about four minutes into the game, and USALSA’s Josh Dickinson answered back with a shot just beyond Newman’s gloves, to tie the game at 1 apiece before halftime. Those would be the only goals netted for the rest of the regulation period.
After a 10-minute break, the squads faced off in a penalty kick period, putting Newman and Robinson in a singular pressure cooker. USALSA netted its first three attempts and DLA got its two opening shots past Robinson. But, Robinson ramped up his intensity and thwarted his opponent’s next two while his teammates succeeded in getting another pair into the goal, propelling USALSA into the winner’s circle with the 6-3 victory.
Justin Fi t z g e r a l d , Fo r t Belvoir intramural sports league coordinator, hosted an awards ceremony after the contest, when individuals and the top two teams received trophies.
For information about Fort Belvoir’s intramural sports program and the annual Commander’s Cup title race, Fitzgerald, 703-806- 5093. Athletes can also contact their unit representative to sign up and get schedules.
Final IM Soccer results
249th Engineer Battalion
NGA Team 2