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2018 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships continue in Spotsylvania, Va.
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (June 30, 2018) — The 2018 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships continued Saturday at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center and Embrey Mills Complex in Spotsylvania, Va. More than 220 games have been completed, and tomorrow’s action will decide the 64 teams moving on to the semifinals.
More than 130 college coaches have attended the first two days of play, as the tournament offers players with opportunities for exposure and development, in addition to a chance to claim a regional title.
After his team dropped a close match on the opening day, 15U Girls OPSA Magic (MD) coach Albert Oni said his players possessed the same agenda on Saturday — to give their best effort no matter the outcome. They did that and more, as OPSA picked up a big win to stay in the hunt for a semifinal berth.
“They’re here to learn new skills and have fun. Everyone is a big fish in a little pond where they came from. Now, we are all together competing against the best of the best and pushing each other outside of our comfort zone,” Oni said. “Our girls are doing things they’ve never done before because they’ve been forced to play at a higher speed. Once you go back to competition you’re familiar with, you’ll really see what you learn playing in an environment like this. It’s incredible for their development.”
Regional winners of the 13U through 19U age groups earn a berth to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 23-29 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 19U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 14U through 18U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Highlights from Saturday:
FC Europa Elite (PA-E) earned its second win of the week with a 3-1 result against DE Rush (DE). It took just three minutes for the Eastern PA side to grab an advantage, as Brady Costin headed in a corner kick at the back post to put Europa in front. Costin added a second goal later in the half to double the Europa lead heading into the break. Shortly after halftime, Zane Khalil extended Europa’s lead to 3-0, but Kato Connor immediately replied for Rush to bring the score to 3-1. Neither side managed to find the back of the next in the final portion of the match, and Europa held on to move to six points in the Group B standings.
Fury 2005 (WV) followed up a day one tie with a 3-0 win against previous group leader Alleycats 2005 (NY-E). After a half-hour of play, Fury broke through with a goal from Emily Lattea. The West Virginia side doubled its lead in the 45th minute when Isabella Flanigan found the back of the net, and Braylyn Sparks made it 3-0 with a goal shortly after. The Fury defense made sure those strikes were more than enough, as the team held on for the shutout victory to stay in the thick of the race in Group D.
After drawing in its first match, SCS United 2004 Elite (PA-W) picked up a crucial three points on Saturday with a victory over Nordic 2004 Premier (VT). Beaux Lizewski opened the scoring for SCS in the third minute, and Will Gruca added two more to extend the advantage to 3-0 by the 21st minute. The PA West side continued to control the flow of play, and it received second-half strikes from Nathan Prex and Max Marcotte to cap the victory. The result sets up SCS with a match on Sunday against Real Jersey FC (NJ) to determine the Group D winner.
OPSA Magic (MD) wore down Rotterdam United 03 Premier (NY-E) with its possession game and pulled away for a 5-0 win on Saturday. The teams remained even for most of the first half, but Alexandra Heller netted a 40th minute goal to OPSA momentum heading into the second half. Brooke Hurst doubled the lead in the 58th minute when she slid a right-footed shot from tight angle into the far corner. Rotterdam earned a threatening free kick 10 minutes later, but it was OPSA that took advantage. After the free kick was cleared, Hurst received the ball on a quick counter attack and took it down the right wing. She played a cross in front of goal that Eva Mowery finished. Alina Valencia and Mowery added late goals to help secure the victory and three points for OPSA.
By securing a 2-1 win over SJEB Rush 02 Academy (NJ) on Saturday, BRYC Elite Academy (VA) remained in the top position of Group A. The teams exchanged chances throughout the first half, but the Virginia side had the majority of the most dangerous looks. In the 20th minute, BRYC’s Brennan Kenny came close to a breakthrough by hitting a slicing shot from 20 yards out that struck the post. The pressure paid off in the final minute of the half, as BRYC earned a penalty kick when a player was clipped in the box. Georges Richard stepped up to the spot and converted the attempt into the right corner to put BRYC up, 1-0, with the final kick of the half. SJEB leveled the score in the 72nd minute with a goal from Thomas Dawson, but BRYC immediately regained the lead when Harrison Tun found the back of the net. That proved to be the game-winner, as BRYC moved to six points in the standings.
BC United 01 (NY-W) secured its second clean sheet in as many games to boost its total to six points in the Group B standings. Against Century V 01 Gold (PA-W) on Saturday, BC United struck first in the 23rd minute, as it took advantage of a takeaway around midfield against the attack minded PA West side. Angelina Fahrenkrug dribbled into the attacking half with the keeper off her line, and Fahrenkrug hit a shot with the outside of her foot that bent into the back of the net. Century V continued to push forward knowing it needed all three points from the match, and it nearly equalized early in the second half. Dalaney Ranallo hit a free kick rocket that curled away from the keeper but struck the crossbar. Victoria McKnight pushed the BC United advantage to 2-0 in the 69th minute, and Laurel Vargas added a late goal to seal a 3-0 win for the New York West side.
The last two National Champions in the age group squared off on Saturday, as Baltimore Celtic SC 00 (MD) and McLean 00 Green (VA) played to a scoreless draw. Celtic applied pressure for a majority of the 90 minutes, as it put McLean on its heels for moments in the match. Baltimore had a prime chance to open the scoring just before halftime when it earned a penalty kick. However, McLean keeper Nathan Paolozzi guessed correctly and dove to his left to block the attempt. Baltimore made multiple runs deep into the attacking half in the late stages of the game, but McLean prevented a breakthrough and held on for the scoreless draw. With the tie, the two teams are tied at the top of Group A with four points.
A matchup of day one winners saw Beadling 99 (PA-W) come away with a 3-1 win over FC Stars 99/00 (MA) to grab control of Group B. The PA West side opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Sydney Routch found the back of the net. That goal remained the lone difference until just before the hour mark, as Marissa Krenn scored to double the Beadling lead. Breana Valentovish added some more breathing room for Beadling with a 75th-minute strike before Jennifer Rennich added a late goal for FC Stars. With the victory, Beadling now sits in a good position within the group with one game left to play in preliminary action.
Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on http://www.idevmail.net/link.aspx?l=14&d=26&mid=3689921&m=10255
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About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series – The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer’s 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams, through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, advance to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. Champions (13U through 19U) from each regional event advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships. The 14U through 18U Boys and Girls age groups have four teams representing the US Youth Soccer National League. Overall, the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides the nation’s top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. For more information, visit championships.usyouthsoccer.org.
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About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer – “The Game for ALL Kids!®” is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit http://www.USYouthSoccer.org.