First two champions crowned at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships
13U champions crowned
14U through 19U champions to be determined Sunday
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OVERLAND PARK, Texas (July 26, 2019) — Two of the 14 champions were crowned Friday night at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan.
2019 US Youth Soccer National Champions
13U Girls | Albion SC Whittaker (CA-S)
13U Boys | 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD)
On Saturday, semifinals for the 14U-19U age groups will take place, with games kicking off at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. On Sunday, the 14U through 19U Boys and Girls Championship matches will take place at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, with games scheduled to kick off from 7 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
All National Championship finals can be seen live online at http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/live/.
Highlights from Friday’s final matches…
13U Girls: Albion SC Academy Whittaker (CA-S) 1-0 Michigan Jaguars (MI)
In a rematch of their day two matchup, Albion SC Whittaker (CA-S) earned a 1-0 victory over Michigan Jaguars (MI) to claim the 13U Girls National Championship title.
“We are ambitious at the club and always aiming high,” said Albion head coach Mike Whittaker. “To be able to get here and win is unbelievable. That Michigan team has one of the best players in the age group and we were hanging on. It took every single player and every ounce of energy to get the job done. I could not be more proud.”
Albion took control of the match early and almost took the lead in the early going but saw a great free-kick chance sail just over the crossbar. With Albion controlling most of the possession, Jaguars looked to release from the pressure and counter. The Michigan side’s best chance came off a counter as they whipped in a cross from the wing but no attacking players were central to threaten in the box.
Albion secured the lead just before the halftime whistle after a foul in the box lead to a penalty chance. Albion’s Ava Schall stepped up and hit a shot that glanced off the keepers fingertips but found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. In the second half, Albion picked up where it left off as it controlled the pace of the game. Michigan’s best chance came midway through the second half off a looping shot that curled just over the cross bar. The Albion attacked worked the ball into the corners looking to wind the clock down. The Cal South side held its 1-0 lead through the final whistle to become the 13U Girls National Champions.
“We have been working very hard and I did not see this coming at the beginning of the season because we have a lot of new girls,” said Albion player Lizzie Boamah. “I was like, ‘Oh my we are National Champions.’ I had the same feeling when we won Regionals, but Nationals is so much bigger. We are the number one team in America. It is crazy to think about that.”
13U Boys: 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD) 2-0 Michigan Jaguars 06 Green (MI)
In a 70-minute battle to be named 13U Boys National Champions, 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy outlasted Michigan Jaguars 06 Green (MI) in a 2-0 shutout victory en route to being crowned champions.
This is the third meeting between the two teams after they split the first two meetings. Pipeline topped Michigan, 1-0, in the last meeting during group play. Pipeline entered the championship game with an unblemished 3-0 record and zero goals against.
Coming into the week, Pipeline had its sights set on being crowned National Champions after playing together for less than a year and they did exactly that as they exceeded expectations to cap off the week.
“I predicted this matchup for the final. The boys have surpassed my expectations, but it does not surprise me. The boys are animals and trained all year for this,” said 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy head coach Philip Greatwich. “I’m not an emotional guy, but even I was tearing up. It was a fairytale ending. It means the world to add another star to our chest. We have only been together for 11 months so to turn it around in that short amount of time means the world.”
Pipeline took control of the game early as it went on the attack right off the first whistle, firing a shot at goal in the first five minutes that was saved by Michigan goalkeeper Gavin Cote to keep the game scoreless.
Michigan found its first chance of the game in the 14th minute with a shot that was blocked by the Pipeline defense as the game remained at zero a side. Pipeline struck first in the 21st minute when Philippe Oliveira found the foot of Kaden Onolaja for a tap in goal past the goalkeeper.
Throughout the first half, Pipeline kept on the attack, putting two shots on goal in stoppage time that were saved by Cote to keep them off the scoreboard. A late push by Michigan was stopped by Pipeline to send the game to halftime with Pipeline ahead by one goal.
It was a tale of two halves as Michigan controlled the early minutes of the second half. Pipeline goalkeeper Tyler Mezzadra saved a Michigan free kick early in the second half, keeping them ahead by a score.
A Pipeline free kick in the 61st minute was put in the middle of the 18-yard box where Mason Wakefield controlled the ball then scored after shooting the ball off the crossbar then over the goal line for a Pipeline insurance goal.
After bending but never breaking for 70 minutes in a hard-fought game, Pipeline held on to the two-goal lead to be named the 2019 13U Boys National Champions.
“To win the National Championship is awesome, it’s a dream come true,” added Edward Smith III. “This is the highest title at this level. It was tough to get to this point. Every team is great, and we just worked hard. I love this team, it is amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else. We gave everything and did everything we could to win.”