First set of quarterfinals complete at the 2019 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships
Quarterfinals, Day 1 of 2
Scores & Standings
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BATON ROUGE, La. (June 24, 2019) — Three days of play remain at the 2019 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships after the first half of quarterfinals took place Monday at Burbank Soccer Park in Baton Rouge, La. The winners of today’s quarterfinals in the 13U Boys and 14U-16U Boys and Girls age groups will resume play with semifinals on Wednesday, June 26.
The other group of quarterfinals, 13U Girls, 17U-18U Boys and Girls and 19U Girls, as well as the 19U Boys semifinals, will take place tomorrow, June 25, starting at 8:15 a.m.
After a long tough road through preliminaries, teams are continuing to dig deep as they push forward towards a Regional title and a chance to advance to the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kan.
One team advancing from today’s quarterfinals is VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL). The Alabama team understands the importance of the Southern Regional Championships and how it can be a measuring stick for where you sit as a team.
“For us, participating in Southern Regionals is a culmination of what these kids work towards,” said VHSC head coach Carlo Schiavoni. “The competition, the atmosphere, kids competing against their own region, it’s a fun event that helps us push for the next level, as opposed to what we have locally. For competitors, those type of games are always enjoyable and make you better.”
Teams at Southern Regional Championships understand the importance of being at this stage but, for VHSC, it’s all about getting back to Nationals.
“[Falling short in group stage at Nationals] has been our driving force,” continued Schiavoni. “Not only getting back there, but getting further than we did last year. The boys set that as their goal, and it is now at the forefront of their minds and what they want to accomplish as a team. It is unbelievable what motivation this has brought to our training atmosphere as we work day in and day out to achieve that goal.”
Notes from a few of Monday’s Quarterfinal matches:
Group C runners-up PPA KSA 06 Pro-Profile (GA) defeated Group D winners 06 NCFC Elite (NC) in kicks from the mark to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals. NCFC Elite (NC) held the edge early as the age group leading goal scorer, Sabian Lynch, scored in the opening minute of play. It was a back and forth game and neither team could find the net again in the first half as North Carolina took its 1-0 lead into halftime. NCFC looked like it may absorb the KSA attack through the second half and earn the win but KSA leveled in the 52nd minute. KSA’s Biak Lung got the ball at his feet, looked up and hit a long looping shot from deep that floated over the keeper to the back post to tie the game. The game headed into overtime and, with no goals added, proceeded to kicks from the mark. KSA outlasted NCFC, 8-7, from the spot to claim its spot in the semifinals.
One score was all that separated 05 WFC Blue (NC) and Houston Dash (TX-S) as the North Carolina side earned a close, 1-0, victory. Each team had opportunities to score in the first half with WFC controlling most of the action. Houston’s keeper, Alicia Audu, made some great saves to keep her team in the game as they held on through multiple WFC attacking opportunities. After a scoreless first half, WFC finally got its break as Jocelyn Gallardo found the back of the net early in the second half. WFC’s strong defensive play so far in the tournament – only one goal allowed through four games - was evident as it locked down the Houston attacking opportunities to earn a clean sheet and helped earn WFC a spot in the semifinals.
EFC 05 (OK) and One World Soccer 05 (TX-S) played in a high paced, back and forth match up that had to be decided from the penalty spot. One World Soccer took the lead and set the pace early with a goal in just the eighth minute of play as Faris Smith gave his team a, 1-0, lead. OEFC had some great chances to eqaulize but saw the opportunities slide wide of either post. One World Soccer almost carried the one goal to victory but OEFC’s Roman Hemphill scored in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime. With neither team able to add a winning goal, the game headed to kicks from the mark where it went 14 rounds to decide the winner. Multiple saves were made, but it was Ethan Gilbert of One World Soccer who made the final save to send his team into the semifinals.
Group D runners-up, Busa 04 (AL), defeated Group C winners, Lady Lobos Premier 04 (TN), 1-0, to earn a spot in the 15U Girls semifinals. Busa leveraged an early fifth minute goal from Ava Muller to take a, 1-0, advantage. Lobos started controlling the pace as it settled into the game but could not convert its chances. Lobos forced the Busa keeper into a diving save and then later, after a scramble in the box, saw a chance sail over the crossbar. The Lobos could not find an equalizing goal and the Alabama side booked its spot in Wednesday’s semifinals. Busa will face CFC Redstar 04 Elite (GA) who knocked out 2018 Southern Regional finalists, Sunrise Sting 04 X1 (FL).
The 2018 defending Southern Regional Champions, VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL) defeated Group D runners-up, Memphis FC 2004 Blue (TN), 5-1, to get one-step closer to returning to the title game. Each team seemed to be trying to figure the other out in the early stages of the match until a flurry of Steamer goals. Gabriel Russo started the scoring in the 22nd minute before Nathanael Starzl and Joshuan Bramblett added goals to give Steamers a 3-0 lead heading into halftime. Memphis battled back early in the second half and pulled within two as Carlos Lares finished a chance to make it 3-1. Steamers ensured that a comeback wasn’t in the cards as it added two more goals, one from Bramblett and a final goal from Seth Acton. Steamers now advances to face an Rise 04 Elite I (TX-S) team that will be looking to make the most of the semifinals after falling in last year’s quarterfinals in kicks from the mark.
After falling in last year’s quarterfinals, Sunrise Sting 2003 X1 (FL) made the most of a new year and defeated USA/Tormenta 03 Black (SC), 3-1, to move onto the semifinals. Sunrise took an early lead in the fourth minute when Jaileen De Freitas found the back of the net. Sunrise kept attacking but some good defensive stops, including a crucial slide tackle shot block from Ansleigh Crenshaw, kept USA within one. USA looked to counter but couldn’t find the final connecting passes in the final third to get on the score sheet. Alyssa Arias scored with a great strike in the 36th minute to give Sunrise a 2-0 advantage headed into halftime. De Freitas scored the lone second half goal and the Florida defense locked down and earned a clean sheet. With the win, Sunrise heads to the semifinals to face the team that knocked them out of last year’s event – D’Feeters 03 Black (TX-N).
CFA Dalton 03 Elite (GA) defeated Solar 03 De Leon (TX-N), 2-1, to earn a spot in the 16U Boys semifinals. CFA took the lead in the 18th minute as Fabian Navarro found the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead. Solar was knocking on the doorstep to equalize but CFA’s Carlos Orozco made a couple of big saves to keep his team in the lead. Solar kept pressing, and earned a close-ranged finish from Mohammad Chaaban just before halftime. Chaaban made a run down the field and made himself available for a cutback pass from the endline and then made no mistakes finishing the chance to make it 1-1. The game headed into overtime with neither team able to break the deadlock. Filemon Quintero played hero for CFA by scoring a goal in the 90th minute and giving his team the 2-1 victory.
Regional winners of the 13U through 19U age groups earn a berth to the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be held July 22-28 at the Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 14U through 19U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 104 teams.
Daily reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships are available on championships.usyouthsoccer.org/South.
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