Team Victorious, from left, Kaitlyn Jess, Alison 'Fred' McKiernan, Becky Johnson, Coach Leo Miranda, Nikki Miranda, Alysha Creelman, Taylor Blanton

Team Victorious, from left, Kaitlyn Jess, Alison ‘Fred’ McKiernan, Becky Johnson, Coach Leo Miranda, Nikki Miranda, Alysha Creelman, Taylor Blanton.  Photo Jeff LaBonte

Auburn-based Team Victorious took second place in the Girls’ U12 division 1 bracket at last weekend’s Northbridge Youth Soccer 3v3 soccer tournament held at Northbridge High School. Team Victorious went 2-2 in pool play, but went on to avenge one of those losses against Webster in the playoff round, taking a tough 1-0 win into the finals.  They dropped the final game 4-1 to take 2nd in the tournament.

Over 100 teams in 7 age groups participated in the two-day tournament.  3v3 tournaments are popular summer tournaments, as rosters only need to include 5-6 players, which is more manageable during the busy summer vacation season. The teams each have three players on the field at a time, with no goalie.  The fields and goals are smaller, and some rules are modified from traditional full-field soccer. Teams play between four and six fast-paced 24 minute games.

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Auburn’s Alison McKiernan fights a Webster player for the ball in Team Victorious’ 1-0 quarterfinal win. Photo Jeff LaBonte

This is the 6th year Northbridge Youth Soccer (NYSA) has held the tournament, which has become very popular among teams in Central Massachusetts, northern Rhode Island and Connecticut.  The tournament spans Saturday and Sunday.  This year, NYSA renamed the tournament in honor of Cpl. John M Dawson who was killed in action in Afghanistan in April 2015.  Cpl. Dawson, 22, was a lifelong resident of Whitinsville, and participated in Northbridge Youth Soccer as a player.

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Rhonda & Michael Dawson (right), were given a special presentation by immediate past NYSA president and tournament coordinator, Craig Mahoney (left). Photo Jeff LaBonte

At the tournament this year, there was a pause in all games at 12 noon on Saturday, and all participants and fans were asked to the front of the complex.  A military color guard presented while the national anthem was played. Cpl. Dawson’s parents, Rhonda & Michael Dawson, were given a special presentation by immediate past NYSA president and tournament coordinator, Craig Mahoney.