Warm weather. Spring training baseball. March in Arizona is a signal for many things and for the power soccer community, it means the annual Power Blast tournament. This year's field was packed with 11 teams, with the SpoFit Spark making their official debut and the Okanagan Thunderchairs making the trip from Canada. In addition, there were teams from nearly every USPSA conference represented.
Kicking off the weekend were the ASU Sun Devils vs. the AZ Heat Destroyers and the SpoFit Spark vs. RHI Sudden Impact. Although both matches pitted veterans squads against less experienced teams, the new teams held their own and managed to keep the games close. ASU and RHI pulled out the victories and would have a showdown of their own later in the weekend.
As the tournament progressed, one common theme kept popping up; there were a lot of goals being scored! Regularly, teams were scoring five or more goals per game! Everyone was playing hard all weekend, especially Spin, from Minnesota. They only could travel with three athletes and played their hearts out all weekend long, finishing in 6th place. It was a great accomplishment, considering their circumstances!
The four teams from USPSA's top two conferences, Premier and Champions, met in the semifinals on the last day. The Ball State Cardinals fell to RHI Sudden Impact 3-1, and the ASU Sun Devils beat the So Cal Vaqueros 8-1. This meant that in the championship match, RHI and ASU would play a rematch from the previous day, which ended in a 7-0 ASU win. Both teams were focused and determined to bring home the title. In the final match, the RHI defense was much tougher and ASU had a slim 1-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, RHI scored to tie the match and were hungry to increase their lead. However, ASU answered with a quick goal and never relinquished the lead, winning 4-1 and taking home the title.
Power Blast 2013 was a great success and everyone enjoyed the chance to come to Arizona and soak up the sunshine. Those of us who live here loved having everyone here and look forward to the tournament next year!
Tournament MVP: Zach Dickey - RHI Sudden Impact
Sportsmanship Award: Joey Christensen - Okanagan Thunderchairs