Second day complete at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (July 24, 2013) — The US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard, continued Wednesday with nearly half of the field taking part in the second day of preliminary round play at the Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. It was a must-win situation for many of the teams looking to advance to this weekend's finals.
With 40 teams having competed on Wednesday, the remaining 48 will take to the fields on Thursday to play their second match of the tournament — setting up crucial games on Friday’s final day of pool play. Thursday’s earliest games are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. CT.
Teams earn three points for a win and one point for a tie. The top two teams in the U-13, U-14 and U-19 age groups, as well as the two pool winners in the U-15 through U-18 age groups, will advance to play for the National Championship this weekend.
A few highlights from Wednesday’s matches…
Penn Fusion 98 (E-PA) put itself in good position to earn a spot in the Under-14 Boys final with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Pateadores CM (CA-S). The Pennsylvania side struck quickly when Aiden McFadden found the back of the net in the 6th minute. Neither team could break through the opposing defense in the final hour of play, as McFadden’s early strike proved to be enough in Fusion’s second victory at the National Championships.
Michigan Wolves 99 (MI) remained in contention for a spot in the Under-14 Boys final with a 3-2 comeback win over Solar Chelsea Red 99 (TX-N). Wolves jumped out to an early lead on Daniel Wright’s 10th-minute goal, but Solar responded with two early second-half goals by Victor Garcia and Mandel Steward to take the lead. Wright evened the score at two with a strike in the 51st minute, and Samuel DeLoy scored a dramatic goal in the final seconds to give Wolves the 3-2 win.
Vardar 98 (MI) took a big step in its hunt for a spot in the Under-15 Boys final by defeating 2012 finalist Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL), 4-2, on Wednesday. Michael Wetungu scored for Vardar in the 33rd minute and Thomas Dokho added another just two minutes later to give Vardar a 2-0 lead. Sunrise pulled within 1 early in the second half thanks to a goal by Donald Emerson, but Vardar responded right after with a Nash Popovic strike. Emerson scored again in the 56th minute, giving Sunrise 25 minutes to find an equalizer. However, Mitchell Guitar added a fourth goal for Vardar in the final minute to secure the Michigan side’s second win in as many games and eliminate Sunrise from contention.
Defending national champions Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) defeated GSA 98 Phoenix Red (GA), 6-1, on Wednesday to set up a key matchup with Vardar on Friday to decide who advances to the title game from Pool A. Santa Barbara took a one-goal lead to halftime after Benjamin Garcia scored in the 10th minute. The California side’s offense dominated the second half, with goals by Brandon Sanchez, Carson Vom Steeg, Giovanny Acosta, Tanner Mees and Chairat Puengrod. GSA’s Jeovanny Trejo added a goal for his side, but it wasn’t enough to stop Santa Barbara from taking a step forward in its hunt for a repeat title.
It’s a tight race to come out on top in Under-15 Boys Pool B after a pair of 2-1 results on Wednesday. Bethesda Lions (MD) earned a tough 2-1 win over Lehigh Valley United 97 (E-PA) for their second win of the tournament. Lions got on the board early when Juan Ramirez slid his shot inside the far post. The Maryland side cleared a headed ball off the line just before half to maintain the lead, but LVU later equalized with a Byron Derti header in the 52nd minute. Lions went ahead in the 67th minute thanks to a perfectly placed free kick goal by Sepehr Hoghooghi that proved to be the winner.
The other Pool B game saw Dix Hills Elite (E-NY) score two late goals to defeat FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N), 2-1. FC Dallas appeared to be in control after Gerber Chavez put his team in front in the 65th minute. However, goals by Dix Hills teammates James Contino and Nicholas Elkins in the final 10 minutes of play gave the boys from New York a comeback victory. Dix Hills and Bethesda Lions are tied atop the group with six points each, and Friday’s matchup between the two will decide who advances from the pool to the Under-14 Boys title game.
A dramatic final 10 minutes left Lehigh Valley United 93 (E-PA) and Pateadores ANA (CA-S) with work to do in their final preliminary games if they want to advance to the Under-19 Boys McGuire Cup final. Wednesday’s game between the two remained scoreless until Luke Kadillak put Pateadores in front in the 82nd minute. LVU’s Nicholas Zambetti responded five minutes later to even the score, as the teams finished in a 1-1 tie. That result kept Pateadores’ hopes alive, while LVU is tied atop the group with Chicago Fire Academy (IL) with one preliminary game left to play.
Chicago Fire Academy (IL) put itself in good position to advance to the final with a 4-1 win over Plantation Copa (FL). The Fire fell behind early when Copa’s Alejandro Garcia opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Two goals by Chisom Ogbanna on either side of halftime put the Fire in front, and Daniel Lojek and Michael Frasca each added goals to cap the victory. The Fire own a one-goal advantage in goal differential over LVU, as those two squads and Pateadores are all in contention for two spots in the McGuire Cup final.
Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) jumped atop the group with their second win in two days after taking down YMS Xplosion 98 (E-PA), 1-0. Joanna Harber led her team to victory again, scoring the game winner in the 59th minute as the Eastside defense posted their second shutout.
Tophat 17 Gold (GA) posed a 2-0 win versus NSA Rockets (IL) on the second day of play to stay in contention for the Under-14 Girls. The Georgia team grabbed control of the game early, scoring both goals within the first ten minutes of play. A foul in the box prompted the first goal in the 6th minute, as Reagan Glisson slotted home the spot kick. Chloe Maize kept the momentum going, and in the 7th minute received a good pass, sprinted down field and fired the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Under-15 Girls defending champ MSC Coyotes Green (MD) showed that they were not taking the task of defending their title lightly as they defeated first time National Championship participants Boise Nationals 8-1. Coyotes headed to halftime with a 3-1 lead thanks to Julia Abbott’s double and another by Annika Jansa before Nationals’ Christa Lewis put her team on the board. The second half was all Coyotes though, as they struck three times in the opening eight minutes from Juliana Comer, Amanda Wilson and Abbott’s third for a hatrick. Jade Ruiters and Elizabeth Coletti added the final goals for Coyotes as they try to shrug off an opening day draw to get back to the national final.
Under-15 Girls Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) dropped a two goal lead yesterday, but rebounded to defeat Tampa Bay United 97 (FL) 4-1 today. The match began with an own goal in the 4th minute, giving Carlsbad Elite an early lead. Kyle Levesque scored a pair of goals for Carlsbad in the 16th and 42nd minutes to make it 3-0, but Elaina Laxer put Tampa Bay on the board immediately after. That was as close as Tampa Bay would come however, as Sunny Dunphy added one more for Carlsbad in the 78th for her third in two games.
2012 finalist Kings Hammer Academy OH-S) came back after being down 1-0 at halftime to get a 2-1 win over Match Fit Colchesters (NJ) in the Under-16 Girls. Kayla Jennings put Match Fit up by a goal just before the break, but in the last few minutes of the match Kings Hammer found the equalizer in Bayley Feist’s 73rd minute strike. Lauren Nemeroff completed the comeback for Kings with a stoppage time goal that may lead her team back to the national final.
Madison Stark’s late-game heroics gave Legends FC (CA-S) a 1-0 win against NSA Jaguars (IL) in the Under-16 Girls. Both sides remained scoreless throughout the entire match until Stark broke the standstill in the very last minute of play. The win gave Legends the three points they needed to move them up to the top of their group and a chance to defend their national title.
Under-19 Girls So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) won their match against defending national champions FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA) 3-1 on the second day of play. Both teams displayed their defensive prowess in the first 45 minutes, with neither team able to get on the scoreboard. A Jocelyn Blankenship goal just two minutes into the second half broke the deadlock for Blues, and teammate Kodi Lavrusky tallied the team’s second goal, her second of the tournament, in the 63rd minute. Penn Strikers pulled one back in the 80th minute with a goal from Gina DiTaranto, but So Cal answered just a minute later with Blankenship.
NASA 12 Elite II (GA) moved closer to the final after defeating LSC EGA Bravo (NE) in a very physical Under-19 Girls battle. NASA’s Cara Smith was able to get an early goal in the 12th minute that held on for the win. LSC tried to find the equalizer throughout the match and in stoppage time, but NASA’s lone goal was all the scoring in the renewed rivalry.
The tournament consists of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League
qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 88 teams.
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