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2012 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships kickoff with a bang

June 29, 2012 05:29 PM
Preliminary games day 1 of 3 complete

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Lancaster, Pa. (June 29, 2012) – The first day of round robin play kicked off at the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, presented by the National Guard, today at Classics Park Soccer Complex, Hempfield High School and Elizabethtown College in the town of Lancaster, Pa. 
The National Guard's partnership with US Youth Soccer is focused on enriching the soccer experience by positively influencing players and coaches in areas of leadership and character development while adding a strong presence of American pride.
The Region I Championships feature top teams in the Under-12 through Under-19 age groups and began on June 28, with opening ceremonies at Clipper Stadium in Lancaster, Pa. Round robin games take place today through Sunday, July 1, with semifinal matches Monday, July 2. The regional champions will be crowned following final games on Tuesday, July 3.
US Youth Soccer State Champions and select wildcards in the U-12 through U-19 Boys and Girls age groups from 15 state associations, including host Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association, are participating in the event.

Seven teams are back to defend their 2011 regional titles…
U-15G (MD) PSC Baltimore 3-2 (NJ) Match Fit Chelsea Colchesters*
U-18G (E-PA) FC Pennsylvania Strikers* 6-1 (VA) LMVSC Patriots
U-14B (MD) Bethesda Lions* 3-3 (NJ) TSF Academy X
U-16B (NJ) SDFC Gauchos* 4-2 (MD) Bethesda Revolution
U-17B (PA-W) Beadling SC* 94/95 5-1 (RI) Bruno United
U-18B (E-PA) Penn Fusion* 2-0 (WV) WVSC Elite Titans
U-19B (E-PA) YMS Thunder* 3-1 (DE) United FC Blizzard
*2011 Region I Champion

Notes from a few of today’s games…
Under-18 Boys
SAC United Premier (MD) made an emphatic statement to avenge their overtime loss in the final last year, opening 2012 play with a 10-0 victory over Black Watch Premier (RI).  Colin Bonner led SAC last year with three goals in the tournament, and he matched that total today to set the pace for SAC with a hatrick.  Andrew Staedeli and Thomas Krug added two goals apiece and Reid Hawkins, Jacob Turney and Theodore Gula finished the scoring.
Middle Country Cruzers (E-NY) overcame an early 1-0 deficit to take down Nordic SC (VT) 3-1.  Christopher Forrester put Nordic in the lead in the 19th minute, but Dillon Johnson leveled for Cruzers before halftime.  Cruzers put their stamp on the game after the break, taking the lead in the 54th through Christopher Kanaval, followed by Justin Fitzpatrick’s insurance goal three minutes later to seal the game.
Marlton Lightning Red (NJ) scored twice in each half to overcome Cape Cod ReUnited (MA) 4-1.  Michael Ryan stepped up for Lightning, delivering a hatrick after Andrew Donnelly grabbed the lead in the 13th minute.  Joshua Downes pulled Cape Cod within one in the 73rd, but Ryan completed his hatrick before regulation to end the scoring.
An early back-and-forth game turned into a big victory for Kirkwood Ajax Premier (DE) over Seacoast United (ME) 8-2.  Kirkwood assumed the lead just four minutes into the match from Jordan Poarch, but Seacoast leveled in the 32nd through Bengi Saban before Youseff Yama put them in front two minutes later.  Joshua Mercer got Kirkwood back on track before halftime with two goals to make it 3-2, and they put the game out of reach in the second half a Dustyn Bebee double to go with goals from Lance Berry, Michael Ilodigwe and Woon Kim.
Under-17 Girls
New York Rush Patriots 95 (E-NY) took three points from their opening game after defeating WVSC Rowdies 94 (WV) 1-0.  Neither team could break through until the 63rd minute when Isabella Berkey found the back of the net for the winning goal to lead Rush.
Far Post SC (VT) got their first victory in their second straight trip to Regionals with a 3-1 win over Seacoast United Inter Milan (ME).  Sarah Shiman scored back-to-back goals two minutes apart, starting in the 30th minute, to put Far Post in the lead.  Julia Mitiguy pulled Seacoast back into the game with a strike in the 53rd, but Allison Flaherty sealed the game for Far Post with an 83rd minute goal to close out the game.
A second half outburst led LDC Elite 94/95 (E-PA) to a strong result on the opening day, beating CFC United (CT) 6-1.  After a scoreless first half, LDC took a two goal lead from Brittney Wentzel in the 52nd and Hannah Mallets five minutes later.  CFC pulled back within one a minute later through Alyssa Paolillo, but Wentzel grabbed her second a minute after that and Natalie Zelenkey, Naomi Giovino and Sara Sajer closed out the game for LDC.
Regional winners of the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships to be played July 23-29, Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.

The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-14 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-17 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 60 teams. 

Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on Follow the moments from the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series on Twitter and share the moments with us on Facebook.