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Tournaments Jun 26, 2014

All champions crowned as 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships conclude in Baton Rouge, La.

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Via US Youth Soccer) The 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships came to an exciting conclusion Thursday, as 10 teams claimed titles.

Not only will the 10 sides leave as Regional Champions, but they join the four previous title winners in securing a most desired berth to the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard, which will be played July 22-27 in Germantown, Md.

[ +READ: 5,000 US Youth Soccer players kickoff the 2014 Region I Championsh​ips in Rhode Island]

Georgia led the way with six Region III Champions, while North Texas was close behind with five title winners. Florida had two teams claim championships, and Tennessee had one.

Tennessee’s lone champion, Under-16 Tennessee SC 16, stood atop the Region III podium for the third straight year, while Florida’s Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) also won a third consecutive Region III title.

“It’s extremely difficult. Not only are all the teams very good that you come up against, but you have a preceding reputation that comes with you when you step on the field,” said Tennessee SC 16 coach Ronnie Woodard on defending the title. “It’s really important that these girls never become complacent when they play. When you two-peat and you’re going for a three-peat, it makes it even more difficult. We all know getting to the top and winning championships is difficult, but staying there is even harder. Once again, all the credit goes to these girls.”

Girls Highlights

Ninety minutes wasn’t enough to decide the Under-18 Girls champion, as the matchup between Tophat 14 Gold (GA) and Sting (N-TX) went to overtime. Tophat took an early advantage when Sanon Williams scored in the 16th minute to give her side the 1-0 lead. Sara Summers equalized for Sting at the hour mark when she placed her shot perfectly inside the right post. Just three minutes into overtime, Sydney Kingston scored for Sting with what proved to be the championship-winning goal.

It also took overtime for Maitland 96/97 Florida Krush Black (FL) to come away with a 2-1 win over defending champion 97 Louisiana Fire Navy (LA) to claim the Under-17 Girls title. Ruvimbo Mucherera gave Maitland a 14th-minute lead, but Martha Jane Williams responded for the Fire to level the score. In overtime, Carrie Lawrence freed herself for a blast from 25 yards that beat the keeper and secured the Region III Championship for the Florida side.

Two late goals helped lift Tennessee SC 16 (TN) to a third straight Region III title, as it defeated Solar Chelsea Elite 98 (N-TX), 2-0. Maddison Falter scored her eighth goal of the week to give Tennessee the lead in the 72nd minute. Solar tried to answer, but Danielle Marcano netted an insurance goal in the final minutes to help Tennessee clinch the Under-16 Girls title and move on to the National Championships for a third straight year.

“It’s a tremendous honor a true credit to all the work the girls have put in throughout the year,” Tennessee coach Ronnie Woodard said. “To come into a tournament of this magnitude with the quality of teams we had to play against to advance and win another championship just speaks volumes to the amount of the work these girls have put in throughout the year.”

Jacksonville FC 98/99 Girls Elite (FL) and Tophat 17 Gold (GA) battled for more than an hour without a breakthrough goal. However, Tophat’s Chloe Maize managed to find the back of the net in the 72nd minute to help the Georgia side claim the Under-15 Girls championship. The title gives Tophat a place at the National Championships after it narrowly missed out on qualifying on the final day of the National League.

Sting 00 Flanagan (N-TX) secured a 2-0 win over Ponte Vedra SC JFC Storm 99/00 (FL) to come away with the Under-14 Girls title. The Texas side got off to a hot start with a third-minute goal from Madeline Hansen. The game remained a one-goal contest until Rachel Wasserman added an insurance goal in the 67th minute to cap the 2-0 Sting victory. With Ponte Vedra having already qualified through the National League, both sides will head to Germantown, Md., to compete for the National Championship.

Boys Highlights

GSA 96 Premier (GA) completed a very strong week of play, as it claimed the Region III Under-18 Boys title, while outscoring opponents 15-0 in Baton Rouge. In Thursday’s final against FC Dallas 96 Premier (N-TX), Rashid Alarape found the back of the net in the 55th minute to give GSA the advantage. The Georgia side’s defense recorded its sixth clean sheet of the week to seal the victory and send GSA to the National Championships.

Under-17 FC Dallas 97 Premier (N-TX) came away with a 2-0 victory over 96 NC Alliance (NC) to win the Region III Championship. After FC Dallas went up, 1-0, in the 58th minute on a Reece Schattle strike, the Texas side earned a chance to extend the lead when it had a player brought down in the box to set up a penalty kick. Kevin Rodas hesitated — sending the keeper the wrong way — before calmly finishing to put his side up by two goals. The defense did the rest, as FC Dallas held on to claim the Under-17 title.

Two-time defending champion Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) pulled out a tight 1-0 victory against a tough Houstonians 98 (S-TX) team to reclaim the Region III Championship. The Under-16 Boys were only separated by a Donald Emerson strike in the 32nd minute, as both defenses kept the opposition in check. Though Sunrise held on to take the title, Houstonians will move on to the National Championships due to the Florida side having already qualified through the National League.

Solar Chelsea Red 99 (N-TX) defeated SAA Real Madrid Miami (FL), 4-2, to take the Under-15 Boys title. Solar received goals from Mandel Steward, Mathew Lay and a pair from Diego Villanueva in an impressive offensive showing. Jarnni Prieto-Verdecia and Andres Zabala each scored for SAA to keep it close, but the defending champions from Texas proved to be too much as Solar will return to Nationals as Region III champs.

United FA 00 Elite (GA) wrapped up an impressive Region III Championships with a 1-0 win over Inner City Mana 00 (TX-S) to claim the Under-14 Boys title. William Crain scored the lone goal for United, which already qualified for Nationals via the National League. The Georgia side’s defense made sure Crain’s goal held up, as it recorded the shutout victory. Inner City will advance to the National Championships as the Region III representative.

2014 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Champions

Under-13 Girls Dallas Kicks SC (TX-N)
Under-13 Boys GSA 01 Premier (GA)
Under-14 Girls Sting 00 Flanagan (TX-N)
Under-14 Boys United FA 00 Elite (GA)
# Inner City Mana 00 (S-TX)
Under-15 Girls Tophat 17 Gold (GA)
Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea Red 99 (TX-N)
Under-16 Girls Tennessee SC 16 (TN)
Under-16 Boys Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL)
# Houstonians FC 98 Red (TX-S)
Under-17 Girls Maitland 96/97 Florida Krush Black (FL)
Under-17 Boys FC Dallas Youth 97 Premier (TX-N)
Under-18 Girls Sting (TX-N)
Under-18 Boys GSA 96 Premier (GA)
Under-19 Girls SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA)
Under-19 Boys Concorde Fire Elite (GA)

# Advances to national championships as Region IV representative. U-14 Boys United FA and U-16 Boys Sunrise Elite to represent National League

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-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.

Thursday’s scores

Under-14 Girls Final
Ponte Vedra SC JFC STORM 99/00 FL PLE 0 Sting 00 Flanagan TX-N PLW 2
STING: Madeline Hansen (3:00), Rachel Wasserman (67:00)
Under-14 Boys Final
United FA  00 Elite GA SC 1 INNER CITY MANA 00 TX-S SC 0
UFA: William Crain (52:00)
Under-15 Girls Final
Tophat 17 Gold GA PLE 1 Jacksonville FC 98-99 Elite FL SPL 0
TH: Chloe Maize (72:00)
Under-15 Boys Final
Solar Chelsea Red 99 TX-N PLW 4 SAA Real Madrid Miami FL SC 2
SC99: Mandel Steward (6:00), Diego Villanueva (54:00), Diego Villanueva (57:00), Mathew Lay (81:00); SAA: Jarnni Prieto-Verdecia (18:00), Andres Zabala (63:00)
Under-16 Girls Final
Tennessee SC 16 TN SC 2 Solar Chelsea Elite 98 TX-N PLW 0
TN: Maddison Falter (72:00), Danielle Marcano (80:00)
Under-16 Boys Final
Houstonians FC 98 Red TX-S PLW 0 Sunrise Elite 97\98 FL SC 1
SUN: Donald Z Emerson (32:00)
Under-17 Girls Final
97 Louisiana Fire Navy LA SPL 1 Maitland 96/97 Fla. Krush Black  FL SC 2
FIRE: Martha Jane Williams (45:00); MAI: Ruvimbo Mucherera (14:00), Carrie Lawrence (105:00)
Under-17 Boys Final
NCA Alliance NC SC 0 FC Dallas Youth 97 Premier TX-N SC 2
FCD: Reece Schattle (58:00), Kevin Rodas (65:00)
Under-18 Girls Final
Sting  TX-N SC 2 Tophat 14 Gold GA SPL 1
STING: Sara Summers (61:00), Sydney Kingston (93:00); TH: Sanon Williams (16:00)
Under-18 Boys Final
GSA 96 Premier GA SC 1 FC Dallas 96 Premier TX-N SPL 0
GSA: Rashid Alarape (55:00)

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