|Idaho Rush entered 22 teams in the 2011 Gem State Challenge. Results were highlighted by championships at U11 boys, U12 boys (in both the Garnet and Ruby divisions) and U13 boys, along with three more teams in championship matches. Below are all of the highlights:|
The U10 boys ended tied with FC Nova for honors at the top of the table, but the hardware went to Nova on the second tiebreaker. Both teams went through the tournament with perfect 3-0 records, but Nova gave up one fewer goal in the three games. Rush cruised in all three of its games, beating Rapids 9-0 in the opener and Nationals-Revolution 6-2 later that afternoon. Rush closed out the tournament with a 10-0 win over Sawtooth United. FINALIST
The U11-White team rolled through the Ruby Division of the tournament undefeated at 4-0 with 18 goals scored and only two goals allowed. White started the tournament with a pair of wins on Saturday, a 4-1 win over Fury FC and a 5-0 rout of Real Middleton. Sunda morning's 7-1 win over FC Nova set up a final showdown against Nationals-Galaxy. Rush got two goals and another shutout to win gold. CHAMPION.
Rush won both the Garnet and Ruby divisions behind strong performances from Rush-Grey and Rush-Blue.
In the Garnet Division, Rush-Grey doubled their pleasure with two wins over Nationals-Chelsea, once in pool play and again in the final. Grey overwhelmed both of their other opponents, getting a 5-1 win over Crossfire and an 8-0 win over Fury FC. But Nationals posed a stiffer challenge. Lone goals stood up in both matches, a 1-0 win in pool play Saturday afternoon and a duplicate 1-0 in the final late Sunday. CHAMPION
In the Ruby Division, Rush-Blue gave up only one goal en route to the final and pitched a pair of shutouts on the opening day. Blue started the tournament with a dominating 5-0 win over Sawtooth Utd. and followed that up with a 2-0 performance over Twin Falls Rapids. Blue earned a berth in the championship game with a 6-1 rout of FC Fury on Sunday morning. In the final, Blue beat Nampa Thunder 3-2 to win first-place honors. CHAMPIONS
There were goals a-plenty during the U13 boys Swoosh team's run to the Ruby Division championship as the boys had two games with six or more goals scored. The fireworks started with Rush going down 2-0 in the first game of the tournament against Fury FC. Rush bagged the next four goals en route to a 4-2 win. An afternoon 3-0 shutout of Moscow United was spearheaded by two goals from Manasse Mbuyi. The goal-fest continued Sunday morning in a wild 6-3 win over Nationals-Juventus which landed Swoosh a spot in the finals. The championship game was a rematch of the tournament opener. Tommy O'Brien and Mbuyi both tallied minutes apart in the first half and the defense held up to register the second shutout of the tournament in winning 2-0. CHAMPIONS
Rush placed teams in the finals of both the Garnet and Ruby divisions behind solid weekends from Rush-Blue and Rush-Black.
In the Garnet Division, Rush-Blue split back-to-back, one-goal games with Fury FC, but dropped the more important second game to finish second. Blue drew 1-1 with Real Middleton to open the tournament, but rallied for a 2-1 win over FC Nova the following day. A 1-0 win over Fury FC locked down Rush's spot in the finals, but Fury reversed the result with a 2-1 win the final. The Garnet Division was especially tight, with 6 of the 8 games decided by a single goal or ending in a draw. FINALIST
In the Ruby Division, Rush-Black cruised through their first two pool games with an 8-0 win over Crossfire and a 4-0 win over Soccer Xpress. The final pool match was a tighter affair with Rush trailing 3-1 deep into the second half. But two goals late in the second half was enough to rally Rush to a 3-3 draw, earning them a spot in the final. Rush and FC Nova played to a 0-0 draw during regulation, and Nova notched the 1-0 game-winner in overtime. FINALIST