After a week full of competition for youth and adult players alike, the 2nd Annual Owensboro Street Soccer Bowl wrapped up Saturday evening with Tekkerz beating Rooney Tunes 3-2 to claim the championship in the adult division.
With another day of rainy conditions, play was once again move from Legion Park to the Sportstutor indoor facility.
A pair of Brescia University student-athletes helped lead the way for Tekkerz. Nikola Kulpinski, originally from Serbia, scored two goals with the help of attacker Andel Mendonca, a native of Guyana.
Kulpinski said he actually prefers playing indoor street soccer, so he didn’t mind that several matches were moved due to the weather conditions during the week-long tournament.
“If anything, it’s easier to play indoors,” he said. “The ball bounce less and it’s suited for this. It’s also good for physical games like this, because there were a lot of people falling on the ground without getting injured.”
It was an intense battle from start to finish, with both sides playing aggressive and tempers flaring a bit at times. In the end, though, Kulpinski thought they earned the title with their strong performance.
“I think we played better and deserved to win,” he said. “We had more possessions and shots. The game turned out to be a bit more physical than I thought, but it was nice.”
Mendonca said his team knew they were in for a tough fight, but Tekkerz played in sync and put together a good game plan.
“We knew they could move the ball well, so I started pressuring high at first and my teammates sat back and defended,” Mendonca said. “It was just teamwork and spirit.”
Winning the Street Soccer Bowl was a nice accomplishment for Tekkerz considering they had not all played together previously.
“Five of us played in an earlier league indoors here, and we won that won also,” Mendonca said. “This is the first time this full team has played together, though.”
Kulpinski said it wasn’t hard for the team to bond together and find a way to win.
“In street soccer, it’s much easier to get along,” he said. “When there are less players, you have more influence on the game because it’s more dependent on the individual. It makes things easier.”