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2018 Defender’s Cup

Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team poses for a group picture at the South Texas Area Regional Soccer Complex in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 3. The team competes in the 2018 Defender's Cup and placed third against 37 other teams.

Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team poses for a group picture at the South Texas Area Regional Soccer Complex in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 3. The team competes in the 2018 Defender's Cup and placed third against 37 other teams.

Col. Paul Brezinski, Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team coach, signs a slip from the referee at the South Texas Area Regional Star Complex in San Antonio, Texas, during the 2018 Defender's Cup, Sept. 3. Brezinski signed the slip after a loss to Fort Meade, Md. in the semifinals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Autumn Vogt)

Col. Paul Brezinski, Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team coach, signs a slip from the referee at the South Texas Area Regional Star Complex in San Antonio, Texas, during the 2018 Defender's Cup, Sept. 3. Brezinski signed the slip after a loss to Fort Meade, Md. in the semifinals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Autumn Vogt)

Staff Sgt. Joseph Haug, Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team captain, dribbles the ball Sept. 2, at the South Texas Area Regional Soccer Complex in San Antonio, Texas, during the 2018 Defender's Cup. Haug formerly played for the Air Force Armed Forces Men's Soccer Team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Autumn Vogt)

Staff Sgt. Joseph Haug, Holloman's Varsity Soccer Team captain, dribbles the ball Sept. 2, at the South Texas Area Regional Soccer Complex in San Antonio, Texas, during the 2018 Defender's Cup. Haug formerly played for the Air Force Armed Forces Men's Soccer Team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Autumn Vogt)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Twenty-one Airmen from the 49th Wing traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to participate in the 2018 Defender’s Cup, Aug. 31- Sept. 3.

During Labor Day weekend, Holloman’s Varsity Soccer Team competed with 37 teams from across the Department of Defense in hopes of bringing home the first place trophy.

           “It’s a national tournament, DOD-wide, that is in San Antonio every year,” said Col. Paul Brezinski, team coach. “This year, there were 37 teams because there are a lot of joint bases now and they’re fielding single teams, giving them an advantage.”

Holloman’s team played five games over the course of three days, advancing to the semifinals. Holloman was the only Air Force team to make it to the final four.

“The way I felt our team played, as a whole, was phenominal,” said Airman 1st Class Zach Cohee, team player. “The way that we worked up from our defense all the way to our offense.”

           The fourth and final day of the tournament, Holloman played and lost the sixth game against Fort Meade. Due to the loss, Holloman went to a penalty kick shoot-out to fight for third place and won.

           “They beat a lot of bigger places because they played together well,” said Brezinski. “Great team effort. We were the only Air Force base left standing. So, for us to be in the final four and compete, and compete well, says a lot.”

            While the team endeavored for the first place trophy, being presented the third place trophy was still a significant accomplishment.

            “I probably won’t coach another base team, so this is probably my last Defenders Cup,” said Brezinski. “I would’ve liked to go out on top, but we got pretty close so it was all good.”

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