The Rohnert Park Reign, a competitive soccer team has had what one elated coach calls, a “Unicorn Season,” with a record of 33 wins, 1 loss and 3 ties.
“We didn’t have huge expectations, [although] I knew we had a core group of girls that were really talented,” said Head Coach, Kyle Beeler in an interview Monday.
The team started the season with the North Coast Futbol Club (NCFC) Nike Tournament in Petaluma where they went 4-0, taking the top spot in their first championship of the season. They then followed their maiden success with several more: in the Apple Classic Tournament they took 2nd place, making it into the finals to compete against a team five divisions their senior. This match would be The Reign’s only loss of the season. In the Santa Rosa United Academy Tournament, they took the championship and the Walnut Creek Cup Championship and the NorCal Region 5 Bronze Division League Championship, the last tourney of the season. (All tournaments are registered at GotSoccer.com.)
What makes their season even more incredible? They’ve been playing together as a team for only one year; some players had played together before, but half the team had never played with the group before and some were new to competitive play, just coming up from the Rohnert Park Rec, a non-competitive league.
“A lot of the girls that, when they came out, we weren’t sure if they would be very good. But they all got better,” Beeler said.
Led by head Coach Beeler and assistant coaches Ron Melton and Bob Winnie, the Rohnert Park Reign is a U11 competitive soccer team with the Rohnert Park Soccer Club. (U11 means the participants are all under eleven-years-old.)
“One thing about our team is all the girls are really competitive so when the going gets tough they turn it up a notch. Which [I’m] very proud as a coach to see,” Beeler said.
Looking ahead, Beeler said the team gets to stay together through the spring league if they choose to play. Because indoor soccer is very different from outdoor soccer they will probably take the winter off, start practicing in February and play some spring tournaments. Then for next season a new tryout will be held. With The Reign’s success, they’ve been getting a lot of attention from players from other competitive leagues, so we may expect a few new faces next year. Beeler said the additional talent may even prompt the formation of a second team to play in a different division. Currently, the RP Reign is a Bronze (400+ points) division team, one of seven divisions listed on GotSoccer.com. Because of the team’s rankings this year, Coach Beeler expects the team to probably move up to the Gold (1500+ points) division next year, opening up a slot for a new bronze division team. And for those who have birthdays over the summer, rather than players ‘aging-out,’ The Reign will simply raise their age division to U12.