Preliminary games day 2 of 3 complete
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Lancaster, Pa. (June 30, 2012) –
The second day of preliminary matches has concluded for the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, presented by the National Guard, at Classics Park, Hempfield High School and Elizabethtown College in the town of Lancaster, Pa.
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.
While some teams have already secured their spot in Monday’s semifinals, the fate of most will be decided Sunday for the chance to advance.
Under-16 Boys OBGC Rangers (MD) have been just a step away from the National Championships the past two years, twice finishing in second place in the US Youth Soccer National League and falling in overtime of last year's Region I final. Rangers are looking to take the next step this year after capturing Region I Premier League and Dallas Cup championships.
"I think (the players) are very motivated by the fact that we lost in the final last year. After leading 3-1 late in the game we lost. The year before we lost in the semis," said Rangers' coach Matt Pilkington. "We know we’re good enough, we know we have the ability and the talent to win it, we just have to combine everything at the right time. We’ve had a good year, so this should be our year to finish it off."
"It’s the culmination of a long season, coming to Regionals while most teams are finished, and competing against the state champions to win the regional championship and go onto the biggest stage, which is the National Championships."
Notes from a few of today’s games…
After a third place finish this year in the National League, VSA Heat are looking toward claiming a regional crown after moving to the top of the group with a 2-1 victory over Empire United SA Rochester (NY-W). Empire put the pressure on first with a 20th minute goal from Sarah Jessic Sczcepanski, but VSA responded before halftime through Rebecca Callison. Coming out of the restart, Kristin Schnurr struck again for VSA in the 43rd and that stood for the game winner to carry VSA to a 2-0 start, while Schnurr leads all scorers with five total.
Seacoast United Wanderers (NH) avenged their loss against 2011 semifinalist PWSI Courage 96 Red (VA) 2-1 today. PWSI looked like they would take control early with Allison Turner’s 4th minute goal, but Katherine Day struck twice before halftime for Seacoast to grab the lead. Casey Scott scored the clinching goal to make it 3-1 in the 74th and the Seacoast defense kept PWSI at bay after the first five minutes.
Match Fit Chelsea Beat have put themselves in a good position to advance as a 4-0 victory over OBGC Cyclones White (MD) leaves them atop the group. Match Fit advanced to the 2011 National Championships via the National League, but will have to claim a regional title this year after finishing second in National League play. Brianna Robinson sits alone at the top of the scoring chart after her double today gave her three for the tournament, while Ashley Pankey and Julia Carr also contributed goals for Match Fit.
Bayside FC Bolts (RI) responded from an opening day loss and an early deficit today to earn their first victory 2-1 over Far Post Premier (VT). Charlotte Stuart opened the scoring for Far Post in the 18th minute, and that lead held until the 60th when Victoria Carter leveled for Bayside. The goal brought some energy to Bayside as they immediately took the lead seven minutes after the equalizer as Carter grabbed her double to lead her squad to victory.
After a 3-2 victory today over SOCA Lightning (VA), OBGC Rangers (MD) are hoping to take the next step toward the national stage. SOCA took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute from Kenneth Moyers, but Rangers responded immediately through Chase Gasper and then took a two goal lead on strikes from Sean Cowdrey and Bruno Scodari. SOCA pulled back into the game just before halftime when White Forrest hit net, but that was all the scoring as Rangers held on for their second victory.
HSC Arsenal (DE) will face OBGC Rangers tomorrow to decide the group winner and who advanced to the semifinals after defeating Nordic SC (VT) 3-0. HSC took a commanding lead into halftime on goals from Calvin Smick, Jeffrey Richards and Jaylen Dunham to complete the scoring, while the defense earned a shutout. HSC need a tie or better versus Rangers to advance as they hold the goal differential tiebreaker to advance.
SDFC Gauchos (NJ) have an uphill battle to get back to the National Championships as MPS Knights (MA) knocked off the defending Region I champs 3-2. Tyler Kuchenbecker put MPS in the lead 20 minutes in and extended it nine minutes later from Zachary Lacava. SDFC pulled a goal back two minutes later on a Chris Scian strike to go into halftime 2-1, but Lacava recorded a brace when he hit again coming out of halftime to make it 3-1. Troy Carrington Jr. gave SDFC a chance with time winding down as he made it 3-2, but MPS would hold on for the victory. Both sides need victories tomorrow and some help on goal differential to overtake Lehigh Valley United 95 (E-PA) atop the group.
Regional winners of the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships to be played July 23-29, at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.
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 http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org
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