Local soccer team Watershed Red Radish was the fourth seed of four teams going into its postseason tournament in Asheville Buncombe Adult Soccer Association’s Over 40 Division 3.
They finished the tournament as champions, completing an unlikely turnaround.
The season started slowly for the team, according to Ray Nightingale, one of the team’s two captains along with Kyle Holt.
“We had a difficult season at the beginning,” he said. “We had a lot of players get injured and a lot of new players this season, so we were working everyone into the team. We lost three out of four of our first games.”
But Watershed Red Radish, which is named for one of its two co-sponsors (the other is Asheville restaurant Rhubarb), won its final three games of the season heading into an opening round match with previously unbeaten Rangers FC.
“We were in a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation,” Nightingale said. “We went straight to (penalty kicks) and we hit all of ours, they missed one.”
The victory over the top-seeded team set Watershed Red Radish up for a championship match against RFC Respiratory Distress, the number 2 seed in the tournament.
The tournament trophy ended a drought for Watershed Red Radish, according to Nightingale, the goalkeeper who has played on the team for four years.
“We hadn’t won a championship in a few years,” he said. “It’s the first trophy for the Watershed Soccer Club in awhile.”
The Watershed Soccer Club is a Swannanoa Valley-based organization that competes in ABASA. There are currently nine Watershed teams in the association.