Getting on the map

The Concord FC girls soccer teams are certainly putting Chautauqua County on the map when it comes to competitive soccer.

At the recent Clarence Classic, three Concord FC teams advanced to championship games.

The Under-14 girls went undefeated and won their championship with a remarkable goal differential of 22 goals for and only two against in four games. The run to the title also included three shutouts. The Under-12 girls finished in second place out of eight teams. It was the team’s second consecutive trip to the championship game in this tournament, as they were crowned champions last year. Finally, the Under-17 girls finished in second place with three shutouts in four games, as well. Because of numbers, the Under-17 team played in the Under-18-19 bracket.

“The style and dedication was recognized by others just how good they were,” coach Brett Gould said. “The Canadian teams, those parents come out in mass – aunts, uncles and grandparents. They were asking where we were from. The way our girls played, they assume we were from Canada. That’s a huge compliment.”

Concord FC is comprised of players from Dunkirk, Fredonia, Cassadaga, Silver Creek and Maple Grove. The competition was against players from Buffalo, Rochester and Canada.

“This would be the equivalent of any team from Section 6 in Chautauqua County – likely a Class B, C or D school – going up and beating a Class AA, A1 or A2 school in Buffalo or Rochester – which dips into Section 5 – notoriously beating Section 6 across the board,” Gould noted. “Then you add the fact that they did this plus beat teams from Canada.”

The U17 team is coached by Kevin Rice, while Rice and Gould co-coach the U12 team. The U14 team is coached by Paul Sellari and Dave Stevens.

With the success, Gould and the rest of the coaches are raising the bar for the program.

“This is something to build on,” Gould said. “This is the new normal. Focus is at a premium. The kids who chose to focus got rewarded. We want them to understand, we have set the bench mark of excellence. They have to put the work in and it comes with sacrifice. This is the new normal and we are on the map.”

The season for the players began in March as practices and training sessions were held at the Cattaraugus Community Center. Travel consisted of tournaments in Bradford, Salamanca and Jamestown.

“It’s a big commitment,” Gould said. “We kept telling them if they stick with it, they wills see rewards and that’s what happened. The girls are all friends and the parents who stuck out the whole season, we have great relationships with the families. Nothing was better than to see those parents celebrating together. That was a big deal. From the coaches to the parents, thank you. There is a great sacrifice involved.”