The weather is beautiful and boy is the soccer competitive here in Overland Park, KS as 88 U13-U19 boys and girls teams kicked off preliminary play yesterday for the anticipated 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series that will end on Sunday.
The teams are working hard to collect points in the prelims, which will end on Friday. Three points are rendered for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. The top two teams from the U13, U14 and U19 age groups and pool winners in the U15-U18 age groups will advance to compete in the National Championship on Saturday and Sunday.
Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) celebrated their second win in two days, beating YMS Xplosion 98 (E-PA) 1-0 today. The winner was scored by Joanna Harber in the 59th minute to put Eastside at the top of their group.
Tophot 17 Gold (GA) are determined for a spot in the final as well, and it showed with a 2-0 shut out against NSA Rockets (IL). Both goals were scored within the first 10 minutes of the game by Reagan Glisson in the 6th minute and Chloe Maize a minute later.
It was a fight till the end for Penn Fusion 98 (E-PA) today, but they defeated Pateadores CM (CA-S) 1-0 to put them in the running for a spot in the Championship. Aiden McFadden was the hero of the day, scoring early in the 6th minute. Defense played their part without fail, holding off Pateadores for the rest of the game.
Michigan Wolves 99 (MI) also had much to celebrate today with a tight 3-2 win over Solar Chelsea Red 99 (TX N). Daniel Wright opened scoring in the 10th minute to give the Wolves an early lead, but Solar wasn’t about to let that lead make an impression. They instead, made an impression of their own, with Victor Garcia and Mandel Steward scoring two goals early in the second half. Wright was able to score his second goal of the game to equalize in the 51st minute, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. It was Samuel DeLoy who upset Solar with a last minute goal to pull the Wolves ahead for the win.
“Sometimes if you just keep pushing late in the match and keep charging hard, you find a way to put the ball in the net- that’s what the boys did and we are proud of them,” said Wolves coach Aaron Brown.
The U15G Tennessee SC 16 (TN) were defeated by Eclipse Elite Black 97-98 (IL) 2-1 this morning, but not without putting up a fight. It was back and forth until the second half when Lea Waddle scored a brace within a minute of each other to put Eclipse on the board and in the lead. Karli Paschall answered back for Tennessee in the 80th minute, but there was no time to catch up and Eclipse emerged victorious.
Defending champ MSC Coyotes Green (MD) overwhelmed Boise Nationals Italia 8-1 to show that they are back for 2013 glory. They took a 3-1 lead in the first half with a brace scored by Julia Abbott and a third by Annika Jansa. Nationals’ Christa Lewis cracked one in for her team before the half, but the rest was history for the Coyotes. Julia Comer, Amanda Wilson, Jade Ruiters, and Elizabeth Coletti added goals to widen the ever-growing lead, and Abbott also added a second half goal for a hat trick.
The U15 girls of Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) eased the sting of defeat from yesterday’s prelims with an outstanding 4-1 win against Tampa Bay United 97 (FL) today. A first half brace was scored by Kyle Levesque and Sunny Dunphy added a third towards the end. Tampa Bay got on the board with a goal from Elaina Laxer in the first half, but it was an own goal scored in the 4th minute of the game that gave Carlsbad that early boost.
Vardar 98 (MI) upset 2012 finalist Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) 4-2 today to give them a solid chance at a spot in the final. Michael Wetungu and Thomas Dokho both scored two minutes apart from each other in the first half to give Vardar a comfortable 2-0 lead. Sunrise sought to catch up, and Donald Emerson pulled them up with a goal early in the second half. Vardar was determined to keep that lead secure and bounced back with a goal from Nash Popovic minutes after. Emerson kept Vardar on their toes with a second goal in the 56th minute, but Vardar was there to finish things off, and Mitchell Guitar put one away for the win.
Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) thrashed GSA 98 Phoenix Red (GA) 6-1 as they continue on their quest to defend their 2012 National title. Benjamin Garcia scored in the 10th minute to open scoring for Santa Barbara, and after half time, they really took the reigns. Goals were scored by Brandon Sanchez, Carson Vom Steeg, Giovanny Acosta, Tanner Mees and Chairat Puengrod to cement the win. Gsa’s Jeovanny Trejo got his team on the board in the 63rd minute, but they couldn’t catch Santa Barbara, who will play Vardar on Friday to see who will advance to the final.
The U15B Bethesda Lions (MD) found themselves in a similar situation against Lehigh Valley United 97 (PA-E), holding them off 2-1 in Pool B. Juan Ramirez scored the first goal for the Lions in the 8th minute, but the lead wouldn’t last, as Byron Derti equalized in the 52nd minute for Lehigh Valley. “The team is passing better than in previous games,” said Tom Sellig, father to LVU’s Mason Sellig. “They are moving the ball around well and need to keep up the pressure.” This spurred the Lions to dig deep and produce, Sepehr Hoghooghi supplied the winning goal in the 67th minute off a nice free kick.
Dix Hills Elite (E-NY) surprised FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N) with two late goals to earn a 2-1 win. Gerber Chavez scored for Dallas in the 62nd minute, and it looked like they would dominate, but James Contino and Nicholas Elkins squashed Dallas’ hopes in the final 10 minutes of the game to give Dix Hills the hard earned win. They will play the Lions on Friday to determine who will advance from Pool B.
A second half power surge earned Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S) a 2-1 victory over Match Fit Colchesters (NJ) after they lagged 1-0 at halftime with a goal scored by Match Fit’s Kayla Jennings. The equalizer came in the 73rd minute with Bayley Feist’s golden strike, and Lauren Nemeroff helped her team to the top with a goal added in stoppage time.
It only took one goal to shatter a 0-0 stalemate that pushed Legends FC (CA-S) to glory over NSA Jaguars (IL). Madison Stark made the heroic play that saw the ball slam into the back of the net, as they continue to compete for a chance in the final.
Lehigh Valley United 93 (E-PA) and Pateadores ANA (CA-S) are both still searching for a spot in the McGuire Cup final after a 1-1 draw in prelims today. They fought hard for possession, and defense remained steadfast keeping a 0-0 score up until the final minutes of play. Luke Kadillak broke the stalemate in the 82nd minute to put Pateadores ahead, but LVU’s Nicholas Zambetti shut that lead down five minutes later with a glorious equalizer. LVU is tied at the top of the group with Chicago Fire Academy (IL) and Pateadores still have a chance to shine.
Speaking of Chicago Fire Academy, they earned that top spot with a 4-1 win over Plantation Copa (FL). Copa’s Alejandro Garcia ignited Chicago’s flame with an early goal in the 12th minute. Chisom Ogbanna scored a brace to give Chicago the lead and Daniel Lojek and Michael Frasca sealed the deal in the second half. Chicago join LVU and Pateadores in contention for the McGuire Cup.
So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) was a neon flash on the field, as they defeated defending National champ FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA) 3-1 with an excellent back line and tactical grace. The board remained at 0-0 into the second half of the game, as onlookers waited for a break. It came two minutes into the second half with a goal from Jocelyn Blankenship to put the Blues up by one. Her teammate, Kodi Lavrusky added another in the 63rd minute. Their clean sweep was cut short when Gina DiTaranto got the Strikers on the board in the 80th minute, but Blankenship completed her brace to nab the win a minute later.
NASA 12 Elite (GA) took on an extremely physical game with LSC EGA Bravo (NE) and came out winners with one single goal. Cara Smith scored in the 12th minute and defense took care of the rest, holding the lead till the end for the 1-0 finish.