RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The Randolph Air Force Base men's soccer team earned third place in the annual "Defenders Cup" soccer tournament Columbus Day weekend at Lackland AFB.
The tournament featured 20 military teams from across the United States from Florida to California.
Team Randolph began pool play, beating local rival Ft. Sam Houston, 3-0, during the opening Friday.
Saturday, Randolph tied the Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., soccer team, 2-2, and finished out opening games with a defeat by the Vance Air Force Base, Okla., team, 2-1.
On Sunday, Team Randolph entered elimination play seeded eighth overall and beat out Latin American players from the Inter-American Air Forces Academy team, 3-1.
"This team ... provided a very tough and exciting game, but hustle and hard work sent (us) into the quarter finals," said Jim Colvin, 12th Mission Support Group and Team Randolph coach.
In the quarter finals, Colvin said Team Randolph fought hard to secure a place in the semi-finals by earning a 2-0 victory against Naval Security Group Activity Medina, just outside San Antonio, in what was both teams' third game of the day.
When Monday morning came, Team Randolph faced Lackland AFB while returning champion Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., squared off against Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Eglin showed no mercy against the Davis-Monthan team, sweeping them 6-0 to seal their place in the finals.
When Lackland and Team Randolph entered the first half, both teams lit up the scoreboard with three goals each. In the second half, both teams gave everything they had, but just couldn't score, said Colvin. As the game neared 80 minutes, Lackland rallied and earned three consecutive goals to secure their victory, 6-3.
In the championship game, Eglin defeated Lackland, 3-1, to win their second straight Defenders Cup championship.
Team Randolph players include: Rob White, Steve Shultz, Raul Martinez, Dwaine Maynard, Mike Misenhimer, Pedro Caetano, Johnny Prada, Rahman Odwale, Danny Fluker, Sal Martinez, Shayne Cole, Filimon Reyes, Roberto Montalvo, Harold Sanchez-Rivera, David Marshall, Anthony O'Brien, Adrian Quintero and Jaime Laurasantos.
"The guys really stepped up their play for the tournament and played some of their best soccer of the year," said Colvin. "Their hard work and determination against some good competition really paid off."
The team participates in the San Antonio Soccer Association and is always looking for experienced players. For more information, call Jim Colvin at 652-5763.