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