The final day of preliminary play in the Under-19 Girls today decided which teams would advance to play for the Ross Stewart Cup Sunday morning in Overland Park, Kan.
With NASA 12 Elite II (GA) having already qualified for the National Championship game, So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) needed a win to guarantee their spot in the final match. It was a battle between the two sides, but neither team could break the deadlock and the first half finished 0-0. Blues came out hot in the second half and Kodi Lavrusky scored just seven minutes in, and that goal was quickly followed-up just two minutes later by teammate Jocelyn Blankenship in the 53rd minute for a 2-0 lead. Blues gave up a late goal to Alyse Scott in the 84th minute, but tightened up their defense and held for the 2-1 victory and sealed Blues’ place in the National Championship final.
LSC EGA Bravo (NE), needing a win and a So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) loss to have a chance at reaching the National Championship final, faced a tough test in returning National Champions FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA). Penn Strikers lost their first two games but finally found their form in the final day of play. Penn Strikers scored the lone goal of the first half on a Daija Griffin strike in just the 9th minute of play, and Julia DiGiacomo scored a security goal a minute and a half into the second half to put Penn Strikers up 2-0. Any chances Bravo had of making the final faded away in the 59th minute when Gina DiTaranto netted the final goal of the game, bringing the final score to 3-0.
With the results of today’s games, NASA 12 Elite II and So Cal Blues Dido will battle it out in a rematch of today’s game.
"Winning a National Championship is the reason the girls got back together to play U-19 this year," said NASA Head Coach Dave Smith. "They came back because they want to make one more run at this thing before their youth careers are over. It would mean the world to them to be victorious in this next game."
NASA will be looking for an improved result while Blues will be looking for more of the same when the two meet Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CT on field 6 at Overland Park Soccer Complex.
Follow the scoring live at: http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2013-National-Championships/Schedule/U19-Girls/Division+1/