Semifinalists determined at 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships
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SEATTLE (June 23, 2017) — Two days of play remain at the 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Championships after quarterfinals took place Friday at the 60 Acres Soccer Complex in Redmond, Wash. Of the 230 teams who started in the tournament, the dreams of 56 remain alive entering the weekend’s semifinals and finals.
Following a day of rest, the teams showed great energy on Friday as they fought for semifinal berths. Cal South leads the way with 13 teams remaining, while Utah has nine. Cal North has eight teams and host Washington has seven.
Defending National Champion Valparaiso United FC 01 JG (AZ) came back from two goals down to win, 3-2, on Friday against a strong Seattle United 01 Copa (WA) team. Valparaiso coach Jorge Garre complimented Seattle and said it takes a little more than skill to overcome teams of that caliber.
“Discipline got our players here, but character is getting them through,” Garre said. “That’s what matters in games like this when you are two down in the first half against a really good team. It’s character that matters in the end.”
The Arizona side will now move on to the semifinals, as it is two wins away from earning a trip back to Frisco, Texas, for a chance to defend its National title.
“We were just short of advancing in the National League — we ended up second after losing the first game,” Garre said. “The boys really want to get back. I think we belong in the National Championships, so we’ll see if we can make it back.”
Regional winners of the 13U through 19/20U age groups earn a berth to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 24-30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 15U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Here are a few recaps from the quarterfinals…
A quick start in its 14U Girls quarterfinal powered LVPSA 03 Red (NV) to a 4-1 win over San Diego Soccer Club Academy-Navy (CA-S). LVPSA earned a pair of immediate corner kicks and took advantage of the second one when Olivia Garcia headed in the breakthrough goal. Garcia doubled the lead just five minutes later when she weaved her way into the penalty area and slid a left-footed shot around the keeper. San Diego’s Kyla Christofferson continued the frantic start when she placed her shot from a tight angle off of the inside of the far post and into the net — cutting the LVPSA lead to 2-1. Alexis Pashales pushed the Nevada side’s advantage to 3-1 early in the second half, and Garcia recorded a hat trick with a 56th-minute goal to cap the 4-1 win.
Rio Rapids 00 Girls (NM) emerged victorious from in a penalty kick shootout to defeat defending Region IV Champion FCSC 00G Nemesis Ellertson (OR) in their 17U Girls quarterfinal matchup. The Rapids came inches away from grabbing a lead shortly after halftime, as a headed shot hit the crossbar and the followup was smothered by the FCSC keeper. The Oregon side came close to a break through 10 minutes later, but a goal was called back when the scorer was flagged as offside. The match went to overtime, and both teams had close calls in the dying seconds of the second extra period but couldn’t convert. In the shootout, Rapids goalkeeper Abigail Opperman came up with the save she needed to help her team win, 1-0 (PK), and advance to the semifinals.
Back-to-back National Championship finalist La Roca Premier PO (UT) earned a 3-0 win against Beach FC Academy G99 (CA-S) on Friday to move on to the 18U Girls semifinals. The Utah side went up, 1-0, midway through the first half by way of a Macy Martinez goal. La Roca added to its lead right after halftime when Anna Escobedo found the back of the net. Martinez helped seal the win when she worked her way into the box and found Escobedo, who freed herself and found the back of the net to complete the 3-0 victory.
After a pair wins by a one-goal margin in group play, FC Warriors Blue 99 (NV) exploded offensively in a big 19/20U Girls quarterfinal win against Bend FC Timbers 98G Red (OR). The Nevada side scored twice in the first half on goals from Kellsey Meechudhone and McKenna Stratton to take a comfortable lead into the break. In the 50th minute, a square ball into the box found a charging Brianna Duran, who directed a shot past the keeper with her first touch — giving FC Warriors a 3-0 lead. Alyssa Abby Nunez, Camryn Grant and Victoria Cera each added late additional goals to help the Nevada side head to the semifinals with significant momentum.
A third shutout in four games helped Scottsdale Blackhawks Zelin (AZ) defeat El Camino FC United 04 (CA-N) to advance to the 13U Boys semifinals. Scottsdale broke through in the 23rd minute when Jonah Kaplan used a nice first touch to bring down a long ball and finish around the keeper. The defense made sure that goal held up, and Kevin Mearse added a late insurance goal to help seal the 2-0 victory for the Blackhawks.
ECFC United 03 (CA-N) withstood a strong start from Rush 03B (HI) to come away with a 3-1 win and earn a spot in the 14U Boys semifinals. Hawaii generated sustained possession in the attacking half for many of the early minutes and capitalized when Logan Calpito cut into the center of the penalty area and hit his shot inside the left post. Rush nearly doubled its lead off of an indirect from inside the box, but the EDFC keeper made a diving save on a shot bound for the corner of the goal. The Cal North side finally broke through in the 45th minute on a Jose Heredia strike. That would become a theme of the second half, as Heredia scored twice more to give ECFC that 3-1 victory.
Eastside Timbers 02B Red (OR) needed a shootout, and some earlier help from the woodwork, to outlast PacNW 02 Maroon (WA), 2-1 (PK), in the 15U Boys quarterfinals. After PacNW controlled play for much of the first half, a penalty call saw Brian Carmona-Perez put Eastside up, 1-0, and the Washington side reduced to 10 men. Despite being down a player, PacNW generated several scoring opportunities in the second half, including a pair of attempts that hit the underside of the crossbar but stayed out. PacNW finally broke through with just six minutes left in regulation, as Charlie Hayward timed his run perfectly and flicked a lofted ball past the charging keeper and into the net. After two scoreless overtime periods, Eastside won the shootout when its final attempt deflected off the keeper’s hand and just over the goal line.
Valparaiso United FC 01 JG (AZ), the lone defending National Champion in the tournament, needed a second-half comeback to advance with a 3-2 win against local side Seattle United 01 Copa (WA). Seattle came out of the gates with consistent offensive pressure and broke through in the seventh minute when Finn Hoffmann found the back of the net. Hoffman doubled the advantage in the 21st minute, as Seattle heading to the second half looking to be in control. Valpo struck back in the 47th minute when Gerik Jakubowski volleyed in a corner kick to pull the Arizona side within one. Denis Conteh leveled the score six minutes later when he drew a foul the box and converted the ensuring penalty kick. The defending champs grabbed a 70th-minute lead when Christopher Ramirez Valenzuela cut inside a defender and slotted his shot into the far corner — capping the Valpo comeback and 3-2 quarterfinal win.
Daily reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/regionIV/.
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