Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) are advancing to the Under-15 Girls Final after defeating FC Pride 01 Elite (IN) 2-1 in its semifinal matchup.
“It’s always going to be so difficult when we’re playing FC Pride who’s a great team,” Midwest United head coach Lewis Robinson said. “We’ve played them so many times in the last couple of years and even in Regional a couple weeks ago.”
Midwest controlled the match from the get go, but the first real chance of the game came for FC Pride when a misplayed clearance by the Midwest keeper landed right at the feet of Pride’s Abby Isger who just couldn’t scoop her chance high enough to get beyond the keeper.
Midwest’s first chance came when Regan Berg found space at the top of the box and banged a great shot to the bottom right corner which was met by an even better save by Sophia Saucerman. After creating numerous opportunities, Midwest finally got its goal. A free kick taken by Ariana Garcia sailed into the box and found the head of Jennifer Blitchok who knocked it to the top left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead for Midwest.
FC Pride started taking more chances in the second half but Midwest still controlled a majority of the possession which lead to its second goal of the match. Some great passing found Garcia for a shot, who made no mistake, giving her side a 2-0 lead with the finish.
Pride’s counterattack finally paid off in the 67th minute when a cross came in from the left side and found a wide open Kelsie James who side footed her chance into an open net.
Pride continued to try and push for a second goal but saw all of its opportunities cleared away by the Midwest defenders.
The final whistle blew and Midwest United held on to advance to Saturday’s Under-15 Girls final with the 2-1 win.
Robinson praised about the level of competition at the US Youth Soccer National Championships and how close the games have been through the group.
“The level of competition here has been fantastic. A huge credit to the girls for getting through to the final as every game has been as close as you can imagine and both teams could have won it, even today. Every team has been great, the facility for these kids to play on is fantastic and I tell them before every game how this is the experience of a lifetime. “
Midwest will face off against Region II rival CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S). CUP defeated Campton United Navy (IL) 3-1 to advance to the final.
“This team hasn’t lost a game all year,” continued Robinson. “They’ve played National League, Regional League, and Regional Championships and now they’re here in the final. They know how to win when the going gets tough but tomorrow’s final is a whole different beast for us.”