2011 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships - Girls Recap
Region II Championship Complete Results [link]
The Under-13 Girls final between Michigan Hawks 98 and Eclipse Select (IL) was tied at one goal each and went into overtime. The match looked destined for a shootout until Rebecca Koch scored on a corner kick that was a scrum in the box with seconds left in the overtime for the 2-1 Eclipse win.
Eclipse Select (IL) got off to a fast start against Kings SA (OH-S) with Maya Neal's goal in the 3rd minute; her sixth of the tournament. Neal's teammate Kayla McCoy added a second in the 26th minute to give Eclipse the 2-0 win.
Mike Nesci, head coach for Eclipse Select, in speaking on the expectations, ""Our club and our teams have learned to live with this 'target on their back'. We set the expectations high, they [girls] come into these events with the expectation to win and I think the girls like the pressure and being that team that everyone wants to beat. Today is a culmination, it is another step for us, the regional final is obviously a great achievement but our goal is always to win the national championship. We will enjoy this moment but we will start the hard work to prepare for nationals. For these girls, being younger, there was a great deal of trepidation in not being in situations like these and they handled it very well and it is exciting.""
Eclipse Select (IL) made the most of their wildcard spot in the regional tournament, advancing to face Michigan Hawks in the Under-15 Girls final. Late in the second half Sydney McGinnis served a ball deep to the top of the box where Angela Waddle collected and scored on a shot that hit the post and found the back of the net in the 66th minute for the 1-0 Eclipse win.
Michigan Hawks 95 were knocked out in last year's semifinal and today found themselves in the Under-16 Girls finals against Ohio Premier (OH-S). Michelle Manning scored an early goal off a short corner in the 6th minute and teammate Summer Green finished a PK in the 34th minute for the 2-0 win.
Doug Landefeld, Michigan Hawks head coach, felt today's result was earned, "We've spent the last 11 months to try and get back to this and today validates all of the hard work the kids have put into it. It [regional championship] is a tremendous accomplishment and with all of the individual goals now for colleges to really play well as a team takes a lot from the kids."
Sockers FC (IL) held possession for most of the contest against Minnesota Thunder Academy (MN) but little opportunities were available for either to break the scoreless tie through regulation of the Under-17 Girls final. After some adjustments in overtime, Sockers found success with goals from Courtney Raetzman (107') and Kelli Hubly (127') for the 2-0 win.
Oleg Vatchev, head coach for the Sockers FC, didn't find comfort until the final whistle, "It was one of those games where you felt like you could control everything and yet you still could still lose it at any moment. We've done well in the Illinois State Cup and the Midwest Regional League but we've never focused on how many games we are winning but the development. This focus is paying off and today's result is another step in their preparation for the next level which is college for most of them."
Mockingbird 93 Premier (KY) cut the FC Milwaukee lead in half with Casey Whitfield's goal in the 25th minute. After a mix up in the back, Justine Hovden would add an insurance goal for Milwaukee in the 35th minute, her second of the final, to secure the 3-1 win over Mockingbird. Milwaukee didn't advance out of group last year and made the most of today's opportunity.
Christian Lavers, head coach for FC Milwaukee said, "This [regional championship] is a tremendous accomplishment. The girls have worked really hard for the last two years to get this reward and there are a lot of teams that work hard that don't get that opportunity so it is very special to have the opportunity to play for the national championship."
Mallorca (KS) and Inferno (MN) met in the Under-19 Girls final and neither wanted to end their youth career today as both wanted to claim their ticket to the national championships. Inferno's Caitlin Grabowski won a ball at midfield served to Jacquelyn Ley who scored from 12 yards out in the 35th minute. Bozena Podkopacz showed great speed past the Mallorca defense and found Lauren DeGregorio in the 65th minute with a simple touch for the 2-0 Inferno win.