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Boys Jul 17, 2012

Bethesda Blue 98 (Md.) maintain club’s winning tradition with Region I U-13 boys championship

By Roger Gonzalez

Their exploits in the 2012 Maryland State Cup meant that there was a bit of pressure on Under-13 boys team Bethesda Blue 98 at the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships in Lancaster, Pa., at the turn of June.

“After you win State Cup, you have a little time to process it until early July,” coach Matt Ney told The Soccer Wire. “Our guys trained on a daily basis, they worked as hard if not harder than anyone else in the region.”

It showed. Blue 98 went undefeated and took home the U-13 Region I crown with a 4-3 win over West Chester United Predators 98 (Penn.).

“When your goal is realized, it’s a great feeling,” Ney said. “They know the work they put in.

“It shows players that the amount of work you put in, you can see the result in the back end.”

The coach, who hails from the nation’s capital and played at Holy Cross, wasn’t sure what to expect during the opening stages of the tournament. The Maryland squad would have to face some fierce competition in New York squads Empire United and HBC United, and New Hampshire’s Nashua World Cup Elite.

“You never know what you are going to get with a group stage game,” said Ney, whose team opened up with a shocking 7-0 win over HBC United. “To be honest, the first game set the tone. [HBC] is historically a very strong side. We came out faster than I anticipated. I knew we were fit, the boys were ready to play, but 7-0 was something that blew me away. I did not think that they would make that big of a statement.”

As for the rest of the group stage?

“They took care of business,” said Ney, who saw his team win the next game 8-0 over Nashua before drawing 1-1 with Empire United.

In the semifinals, Bethesda slipped past Capital Beltway rivals NVSC Jr. Royals 98 Blue (Va.) 1-0 on a late, late goal from Blake Machonis.

“Very tight,” Ney said of the result. “It’s a familiar team. We’ve played them since we were U-10, U-11. It’s always a close game, it’s always a battle. [It was] 0-0 at half. We were going downhill with the wind in the second. Honestly, I thought we would get a goal. Then came overtime. These guys showed the mental discipline, the toughness to keep their focus in a 90-minute game.”

Machonis, a center midfielder, grabbed the winning goal to send his team into the final.

Then, in the final, the team suffered a horrific start.

“After 12 minutes, we were down 2-0,” said Ney of the match against West Chester. “You want to come out strong in a final, and that was not it. Now you’ve got to battle back.”

His team did just that.

“When a team battles back and scores four straight, you know they are confident and mentally tough,” he said. “That mentality that they showed during the last three games, that shows who we are.”

Goals from Daniel Hart, David Eijbergen, Tommy Hanson and John McCuen sent the tone as the team secured a second straight U-13 Region 1 championship for Bethesda SC (Bethesda Lions earned the title last year). There is one reason, according to the coach, as to why the team is where it is.

“You’ve got to be confident, but this is where the work comes in,” Ney said. “If you think you are better than you are, that won’t happen. These guys know for the next year they are going to be the ones looked that. They are going to have to work harder than the next best team. We are ready to work.”

[ +Visit Bethesda Blue 98’s website for more information about the team ]

Bethesda Blue 98 maintain club’s winning tradition with Region I U-13 boys championship

By Roger Gonzalez

Their exploits in the 2012 Maryland State Cup meant that there was a bit of pressure on Under-13 boys team Bethesda Blue 98 at the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships in Lancaster, Pa., at the turn of June.

“After you win State Cup, you have a little time to process it until early July,” coach Matt Ney told The Soccer Wire. “Our guys trained on a daily basis, they worked as hard if not harder than anyone else in the region.”

It showed. Bethesda Blue 98 went undefeated and took home the U-13 Region I crown with a 4-3 win over West Chester United Predators 98 (Penn.).

“When your goal is realized, it’s a great feeling,” Ney said. “They know the work they put in.

“It shows players that the amount of work you put in, you can see the result in the back end.”

The coach, who is from the nation’s capital and played at Holy Cross, wasn’t sure what to expect during the opening stages of the tournament. The Maryland squad would have to face some fierce competition in New York squads Empire United and HBC United, and New Hampshire’s Nashua World Cup Elite.

“You never know what you are going to get with a group stage game,” said Ney, whose team opened up with a shocking 7-0 win over HBC United. “To be honest, the first game set the tone. [HBC] is historically a very strong side. We came out faster than I anticipated. I knew we were fit, the boys were ready to play, but 7-0 was something that blew me away. I did not think that they would make that big of a statement.”

As for the rest of the group stage?

“They took care of business,” said Ney, who saw his team win the next game 8-0 over Nashua before drawing 1-1 with Empire United.

In the semifinals, Bethesda slipped past Capital Beltway rivals NVSC Jr. Royals 98 Blue (Va.) 1-0 on a late, late goal from Blake Machonis.

“Very tight,” Ney said of the result. “It’s a familiar team. We’ve played them since we were U-10, U-11. It’s always a close game, it’s always a battle. [It was] 0-0 at half. We were going downhill with the wind in the second. Honestly, I thought we would get a goal. Then came overtime. These guys showed the mental discipline, the toughness to keep their focus in a 90-minute game.”

Machonis, a center midfielder, grabbed the winning goal to send his team into the final.

Then, in the final, the team suffered a horrific start.

“After 12 minutes, we were down 2-0,” said Ney of the match against West Chester. “You want to come out strong in a final, and that was not it. Now you’ve got to battle back.”

His team did just that.

“When a team battles back and scores four straight, you know they are confident and mentally tough,” he said. “That mentality that they showed during the last three games, that shows who we are.”

Goals from Daniel Hart, David Eijbergen, Tommy Hanson and John McCuen sent the tone as the team secured a second straight U-13 Region 1 championship for Bethesda SC (Bethesda Lions earned the title last year). There is one reason, according to the coach, as to why the team is where it is.

“You’ve got to be confident, but this is where the work comes in,” Ney said. “If you think you are better than you are, that won’t happen. These guys know for the next year they are going to be the ones looked that. They are going to have to work harder than the next best team. We are ready to work.”

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