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Preliminary games continue at the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships

Preliminary games day 2 of 3 

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PHOENIX, Ariz., (June 19, 2012) The US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships, presented by the National Guard, continued today at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. 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. Teams have competed in the first two preliminary games and tomorrow’s action will decide the 128 teams earning berths in quarterfinal brackets.
The top 262 boys and girls US Youth Soccer teams from 14 State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer Region IV are competing for the regional title where winners of the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships July 23-29, at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.

Notes from a few of today’s games…

U-15 Girls
Bay Oaks Botafogo 96 (CA-N) booked their trip to the quarterfinals with a game to spare after taking down La Roca PO (UT) 3-0.  The win puts Botafogo at the top of the group with no less than a second place finish possible.  Stephanie Zuniga-Herrera scored the game winner in just the 4th minute and Aerial Chavarin followed up with two more in the 25th and 40th to seal it.
Northwest Nationals 96 Red (WA) also clinched their place in the next round alongside Botafogo with a 3-1 defeat of Oregon Rush 96 Nike (OR) for their second victory.  Nationals jumped out to a two goal lead in less than 20 minutes thanks to a Arendje Louter double, but Rush clawed back in with a Megan Buzzas strike to make it a one goal game before the break.  Nationals reassumed the two goal lead just after halftime from Lynnae George to seal the game and a place in the elimination round.
Following the trend in the U-15 Girls, Pride Predators (CO) also booked a place in the quarters with a 1-0 win over Del Mar Sharks Elite (CA-S) in front of a host of college scouts.  Del Mar will now need a victory and some help in goal differential to advance with a tie and a loss.  Alleandra Watt stepped up for Pride to deliver the game winning goal in the 65th minute as Pride look to pursue a Regional Championship.
Leahi 97 Premier (HI) put themselves back in the hunt for a top-2 finish by defeating Rio SC 97 Zia (NM) 3-2.  Samantha Nishiyama got the scoring started for Leahi in the 29th and Summer Kaneshiro added to it in the 37th for a two goal lead at the half.  Kamerin Fong extended the lead to three in the 54th, but Rio battled back into the game with goals from Audriana Chavez and Brittany Shrader.  But the rally was not enough in the end and Leahi held on 3-2.
Under-15 Boys
A Northwest grudge match in the Under-15 Boys led to a 3-3 stalemate between CFC Boca Jr. (OR) and Washington Premier FC 96 Black (WA).  The two teams went into the break even after Spencer Aeschliman put CFC in the lead seven minutes in, but Ryan Schaefer leveled for WPFC four minutes after that.  CFC took a two goal lead in the second half on goals from Carlos Cabrera Ramirez and another from Aeschliman, but WPFC once again fought back with two goals of their own before the final whistle from Garrett Strawn and Ryan Degroot to stay alive for a quarterfinal seat.
Utah FC 97 MA (UT) and Rio Vista FC 97 (NM) both failed to advance to the quarterfinal stage of the 2011 Region IV Championships but despite a 0-0 draw today, both are positioned to make a run into the U-15 Boys final rounds in 2012.  Both teams will secure advancement with a draw or better in their final group game tomorrow.
Under-19 Boys
Santa Clara Sporting 92 (CA-N) established themselves atop the group with a 2-0 record after knocking off the Boise Nationals (ID) 2-0.  Richard Robledo got the Californians on the board in the 16th minute to take the lead and Carlos Gonzalez added the insurance goal for Sporting in the 58th as they are in good position to earn a quarterfinal berth.
Real Colorado National (CO) rebounded from an opening day loss to defeat Alianza FC Cobras (AZ) 6-1 and get back in the hunt for a place in the elimination rounds in the U-19 Boys.  Kenneth Clarizio led the way for Real with a brace while Taylor Hunter, George Ryan, Matt Orell and Amadou Dia also added goals.  Estevan Hurtado scored the lone goal for Alianza.
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.