Preliminary games day 3 of 3 complete
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Kingston, R.I. (June 30, 2013) – Competition was at its peak on the final day of preliminary play at the 2013 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, presented by the National Guard, as teams battled for a spot in Monday’s semifinal matches.
For a complete list of scores from today’s games click here: [SCORES]
The Regional Championships carry a tradition as a proving ground, as every team must earn their way into the competition. Even though Under-17 Boys OBGC Rangers (MD) has already qualified for the prestigious 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships via the National League they have come short at the Region I Championships the last two years. Coach Matt Pilkington discussed what this competition is all about.
"Obviously playing against the State Cup champions from each state adds to the intensity of these games. Every team here has come to push through regionals and there’s obviously somewhere we all want to go. If you win here you get to go to Nationals."
"Sometimes you do showcases and they’re all about showcasing, but this competition is about winning. You do everything you have to do to win each game to progress to the next round. Our team has come close before and the boys are constantly improving. We know we’re one of the best teams in the country but we’ve got to take each game as it comes because making it to the next level is something the boys strive for.
"Aside from winning, we’re trying to teach the players life lessons. We teach them about being a part of a team, and why it’s important to be a team. It’s about sacrifice. These kids are preparing for these events all the time. The players here sacrifice so much and put in so much effort to be prepared psychically, mentally and technically. These boys sacrifice for the team. We’ve been here many times before and we’ve got a bit of experience at this now."
Notes from a few of today’s games…
The level of competition in the Under-15 age group presented itself in Pool B today with the advancing team having to be decided by tie-breaker. With each team tied with 3 points after day two each team was fighting hard for a victory. Penn Fusion SA PL 97 (PA-E) just missed on qualifying for the US Youth Soccer National Championships through the National League this year coming in third place in their division. Needing a win to guarantee advancement to semifinals, they faced tough opposition from Soccer of Columbia United Premier (MD). Luca Fazio scored in just the 6th minute of play and teammate Bryce Ziemer would place a beautiful left-footed shot in the top left corner to make the score 2-0 for United. United would hold on with some stout defending to seal the win over their tough competition.
Playing at the same time were Mass Premier Soccer Bulldogs (MA) and LUSC FC Greater Londonderry Bolts (NH). A goal in the 7th minute by LUSC FC’s Nathen Gaw was answered only two minutes later by MPS Bulldog’s Christian Arbelaez. With the score level at halftime both teams entered the second half searching for a game winning goal. Gaw found the answer in the 58th minute adding his second of the game for a 2-1 victory. With the victory LUSC FC advances to the Under-15 boys semifinals due to head-to-head tiebreak with their win over Soccer of Columbia United earlier in the tournament. LUSC FC will be playing Arlington SA Impact Red (VA) in their semifinal match.
Day three started off with some drama in the Under-16 girls’ age group. In Pool A, Bayside FC Bolts 96/97 (RI) needed a tie or win to guarantee themselves a spot in the semifinals. Seacoast United Premier DB 96/97 had their own ideas and a goal from Casey Estey in the 25th minute gave Seacoast a 1-0 win and created a three way tie for first with Bayside and CFC Scorpions (CT). Bayside Bolts will go through to the semifinals on tie breakers with the best goal differential. Bayside became the first Rhode Island team to qualify for the semifinals in this year’s tournament.
In Pool D, Toms River FC Elite United 96/97 (NJ) got off to a hot start against Seacoast Untied Maine SC Blackbear (DE) with four first half goals. Nicole Logan scored in just the 4th minute to get things started. Amanda Carolan would score just one minute later to make the score 2-0. A Samantha Bahr goal in in the 24th minute and a second Carolan goal would end the first half at 4-0 in favor of the New Jersey team. Toms River, needing a win, allowed Seacoast United to pull two back as the Maine team tried to mount a second half comeback. Goals from Kaitlin Salter and Pilar Elias brought the final score to 4-2.
Delaware Rush DE 96 (DE), needing a win and a Toms River loss to advance, got their win over Far Post SC Girls Premier (VT) 1-0 to tie Toms River in points. A goal from Rachel Fenstermacher in the 25th minute gave Rush some hope of qualifying. With both teams winning and being tied in points, Toms River will advance to the semifinals with a greater goal differential to face the home side Bayside Bolts.
"We had a great spring leading up to this tournament," said Toms River head coach Carl Leschinski. "We’re enjoyed playing in the Region I Premier league and we ended up winning our State Championship and we’re just super excited to be here."
In their day three game OBGC Rangers defeated Loudoun SC 95 Red 3-1. A goal from Samuel Schmidt, a top 10 goal scorer in this year’s National League, in the 10th minute was followed by two goals from teammate Jake Rozhansky. Loudoun managed to pull a goal back in the 55th minute from Collin Verfurth to finish the scoring and make the final score 3-1. Rangers finished group play undefeated and now advance to play in the semifinals against Beachside SC (CT).
Vista RFC 93 (VA) lost in the finals last year and was looking to reach the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships final match once again. After two days of play, Vista was tied in points with Ironbound SC Predators (NJ). With Ironbound being ahead on goal differential only a win would put Vista through to the semifinals. In a defensive battle, Ironbound SC was able to crack Vista’s defense late in the second half and an Almir Batista Jr. goal in the 85th minute sends Ironbound SC through to the semifinals to face Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E)
Regional winners of the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships to be played July 23-28, at Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 88 teams.
Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org. Follow the moments from the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series on Twitter and share the moments with us on Facebook.