JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
AUSTIN — The Sharks were circling, and no one was safe.
The Marble Falls Sharks, a 7-and-under 3 versus 3 team soccer squad, won the Live Halloween Spookout Tournament on Sept. 25 to qualify for the USA 3v3 National Final in Dallas on Dec. 12-14.
“We won it,” said 7-year-old player Ace Stephens. “We tried hard.”
The Sharks, who also placed second in the tournament’s costume contest with a “Shark Week” theme, posted a 3-0-1 record that included a win in penalty kicks. The players formed the team a month ago.
“We thought we’d give them a good run,” coach Virgil Taylor said. “We didn’t think we’d dominate like we did.”
The Sharks won their semifinal game by scoring three penalty kicks. Fletcher Neely, 6, scored the winning penalty kick.
He cried when the ball went through the net. He said he was “nervous, happy and had fun” kicking the final goal.
“I just had to,” he said about scoring the penalty kick.
Taylor said he purposely put Fletcher in the final spot because of the player’s strength in kicking the ball.
“It was straight down the middle, just perfect, nothing fancy,” the coach said. “I told him to take his time.”
If the Sharks finish in the top six in Dallas, they will qualify for the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships in Florida in January 2016. The team is raising money to help them get to these tournaments. Go to www.gofundme.com/gd8vhs to donate.
To Taylor, the Sharks won the Halloween Spookout because of one reason.
“Honestly, the other teams were better schooled. They were very well trained,” he said. “We beat them because we were tougher.”