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Boys May 27, 2012

2012 Virginian: Day one action from U17-19 Boys

By Quinn Casteel

U17-19 Boys Gold/Silver College Showcase
In 1:00 p.m.  action inthe Silver Division, Culpeper Comets (Va.) defeated PWSI Courage ’94 White (Va.) 2-1 thanks to goal-scoring efforts from Colton and Mack Elliot. Mack, the younger of the Elliot brothers, scored early in the first half to give Culpeper a 1-0 lead. However, PWSI Courage would respond with a goal from Andy Henderson, and the score would remain deadlocked until Colton netted the game-winner for Culpeper.

“We worked so hard in the first half and they were able to come back obviously, but we just had to finish hard,” said Colton, who knows a thing or two about winning at The Virginian. He won the tournament with a different travel team as a U-17 player a year ago. “Hard work and dedication,” he said are the keys to having success at the prestigious tournament. “You’ve got to come out here and give it all you’ve got. It’s always hot at the Virginian but you’ve got to keep fighting like we did today.”

Mack and Colton have been playing together on the same team for several years now, and said their chemistry on the field is, as would be expected, outstanding.

“It’s fun playing together because we always know what the other one is going to do,” Mack told The Soccer Wire. “We’ve been playing together for a while now and we both know where to pass, and I always know where (Colton) is going to be.”

In the Gold Division’s 1:00 match-up, VYS United White, VA and Jersey Knights Falcons, NJ played to a hard-fought, nil-nil tie. Both teams received phenomenal efforts from their goalkeepers, and as a result would each leave the day without a loss to their names. Jersey Knights tied both contests in the tournament’s first day, and VYS United finished Saturday with a win and a tie in the highly competitive Group A.

One of the Gold Division’s marquee games of the afternoon was between tournament favorite SYC Titans (Va.) and Comets (N.J.) SYC Titans, who defeated FPYC United (Va.) 3-0 in dominating fashion in the morning, were pushed to the brink by their Garden-State opponents. The teams went scoreless until the closing minutes of the match, when Comets scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal on a scramble in front of the Titans’ net, but were flagged for offsides on the play.

Moments later, SYC Titans found some magic of their own and scored the actual gamewinner on a goal from Gagan Gupta with a little over a minute to play. Gupta received a brilliant pass from Marcello Ramos, calmly knocked the cross past the Comets’ keeper and sent his team to 2-0-0 for the day.

“My boy Marcello kicked me a corner so I told Charlie to go deep, and I was hoping he would pass me the ball,” said Gupta after the match. “He did, and I elevated and made the shot.”

With the win, SYC Titans remain the consensus team to beat in the Gold Division, and have yet to concede a goal. However, Gupta and company are not letting the success or the high expectations get to their heads.

“We’re being modest, humble and not taking things too seriously,” added Gupta. “We’re just out here to have fun. The Virginian is a fun, nice experience to see how kids from other states play.”

Steel Town Magic 95B, (Pa.) and FPYC United played in the same 2:15 time slot as Titans and Comets, and put on an exceptional show of their own. Steel Town received a two-goal performance from Ross Lynam in what was an explosive offensive showcase for the squad from Pittsburgh. With the win, Steel Town is one of three Gold Division teams still undefeated after Saturday’s action, along with SYC Titans and Century United 92/93 (Pa.).

The final games of the afternoon kicked off at 3:30 and featured two more intriguing contests. On the beautiful turf of Field 2 at Poplar Tree Park, VBSC Patriots were shut out 3-0 by Century United 92/93 (Pa.). However, the intrigue of this match goes well beyond the box score. VBSC Patriots are an NCSL Division V team, and were a last minute addition to the tournament field after St. Mary’s United Storm (Md.) dropped out late last week.

“We got a phone call from the director of the tournament saying a team had dropped out and wanted to know if we could play, and all this happened on Thursday night,” VBSC Patriots Coach Bill Walter told The Soccer Wire.

Walter gladly obliged the offer, and his bold decision paid off. VBSC Patriots won their first match 3-2 over Hearts of Oak, (Va.) despite playing well beyond their usual division. Walter’s team features players that are juniors, sophomores and even freshmen in high school. One of his best players is only 15 years old, but that was a lot more apparent in their match against the highly-talented Century United 92/93 squad.

Jesse Scheirer, a sophomore soccer player for the University of Vermont, recorded a hat-trick against Walter’s youthful bunch as Century United 92/93 routed VBSC Patriots. Scheirer showed why he is a Division I NCAA athlete, displaying an impressive combination of speed and power as he scored on both well-executed and breakaway scoring chances.

“That was the U-19 Pennsylvania state champion so we have no problem with that game because we had our chances,” said Walter on the loss. “We play in division five, not four three, two or one. To be able to get the opportunity to play in the Gold Division at the The Virginian is a challenge and we’re liking it. This tournament is about being able to play against quality teams and we’re enjoying it.”

Over on Poplar Tree Park’s equally exquisite Field 3, TFA Elite (Oh.) and Hearts of Oak battled to a 1-1 tie as both teams finished the day with records of 0-1-1. TFA Elite grabbed an early 1-0 lead and then tried to hold fast on defense for the remainder of the contest as Hearts of Oak attacked relentlessly. After several close calls, including a rocket of a shot taking an unfriendly bounce off the bottom of the crossbar, they finally found an equalizer midway through the second half and escaped with a draw.

For TFA Elite, the only team from Ohio in the Gold Division, wins and losses are not necessarily the most important thing at The Virginian.

“We were looking for another college showcase to get in, and wanted to play some different teams as opposed to the same old teams in the Midwest region,” said TFA Elite Coach Bob Sherman. “The Virginian was the next one on our scheduling [list] so we decided to give it a shot. It’s really not about winning and losing as much as it’s about good competition. The speed of play has also been very good. It’s a little different than what we’re used to in the Midwest region, and it’s been tough.”

Saturday’s Results:

Group A:
Jersey Knights Falcons, NJ: 0-0-2
NVSC Jr. Royals 95, VA: 1-1-0
VYS United White, VA: 1-0-1
Warriors, NY: 0-1-1

Group B:
Century United 92/93, PA: 2-0-0
Hearts of Oak, VA: 0-1-1
VBSC Patriots, VA: 1-1-0
TFA Elite, OH: 0-1-1

Group C:
Comets, NJ: 0-2-0
FPYC United: 0-2-0
SYC Titans: 2-0-0
Steel Town Magic 95B: 2-0-0

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