Development Academy Finals Week: SLSG Missouri holds onto top spot in Group 2 U-16 division with win over CSA Wolves
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri exploded for three unanswered goals in the second half to win 4-1 against Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Thursday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Complex. With the victory, SLSG have collected the full six points from two matches and hold a commanding lead in Group 2 heading into the final matchday.
A win or a draw would guarantee a place in the championship match. PA Classics are their closest competitors and would need a victory, an SLSG loss plus make up an eight-goal gap in goal differential in order to surpass the group leaders.
After the teams traded goals in the first half, Tommy Barlow scored in the 44th minute to break the deadlock and then added another five minutes later to put the game out of reach.
A frenetic pace characterized the first 15 minutes of the match, and it took only two for the first genuine scoring opportunity to coalesce as SLSG goalkeeper Jake Leeker snuffed a breakaway. His team marched right down the field and got their own good look at goal, a theme that continued through the opening stanza. The teams would rack up a total of 15 shots in the first half.
Barlow’s point-blank header forced a reaction save from Robbie Beckwell in the 12th minute, the striker proving to be a menace to the CSA defense throughout the encounter.
CSA Wolves striker Ahinga Selemani nearly put his side ahead on the quarter hour after a nice turn on a through ball put him in on goal. Picking out the far corner, his shot hit off the post and rebounded back in front, where his second effort was denied by Leeker.
Selemani stood tall as a speedy target for Wolves, and the SLSG centerback pairing of Jordan Klipsch and Justin Graham did well holding down the center of the park against the striker.
While SLSG seemed to gain the impetus, they had trouble putting on the finishing touch in the final third, and it was CSA Wolves who struck first.
Selemani put together some nice solo work near the corner of the area to free up space, then unleashed a low laser from 25 yards out that ripped into far side netting.
In the final minute of the first half, SLSG snatched back the momentum with a fine finish from Nick Jones. The attacker got on the end of a great ball over the top of the Wolves backline and stayed ahead of his pursuing marker before shooting low and hard past Beckwell.
SLSG carried the spark from the goal into the second half, and after four minutes they had the game-winner up on the scoreboard. The sequence began with Mark Segbers racing down the left flank and driving toward goal. He dished back inside the box and the ball caromed off two Wolves defenders before falling to the feet of Barlow who made no mistake from that distance.
The St. Louis outfit kicked in another gear and the third goal seemed only a matter of time. Barlow once again benefitted from the work of his teammates. After a composed series of passes produced a change in the point of attack, Barlow was isolated on the right side. Having had a similar look moments before, he capitalized on the opportunity with a well-driven strike to put SLSG up a pair.
Not content to relax, they gave no breathing space for CSA Wolves to mount a comeback effort. Wolves found a burst of energy in the final 10 minutes, which also left them exposed, and the final goal came when Segbers earned space by the byline and delivered a cross that struck a defender in the area and cruelly crossed the goal line.
-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
Match: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. Crew Soccer Academy Wolves
Date: July 19, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 83 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CSAW – Ahinga Selemani (Ali Cheaib) 34th minute
SLSG – Nick Jones 40
SLSG – Tommy Barlow 44
SLSG – Tommy Barlow 53
SLSG – own goal 76
SLSG: 1-Jake Leeker; 6-Austin Ledbetter, 5-Jordan Klipsch, 2-Justin Graham, 11-Jason Pesek; 17-Shillingsford (16-Zachary Kavanaugh, 78), 13-Austin Panchot (22-David Stoll, 80); 27-Mark Segbers, 10-Keegan McHugh (4-Brett Hodges 76), 12-Tommy Barlow; 15-Nick Jones (20-Stephen McMillian, 68)
Substitutions Not Used: 8-Matt Steurer, 19-Blake Gonzalez, 26-Newman, 30-Edward Starr
Head coach: Tim Leonard
CSAW: 1-Robbie Beckwell; 22-Brent Winkler (24-Louie Zingas, 41; 2-Chase Pagani, 72), 3-Jimmy Fiscus (19-Kosti Moni 59), 6-Andre Morris, 4-Matt Habroswski; 10-Sam Brown, 7-Blake Townes, 18-Ollie Harris; 11-Ali Cheaib (5-Tristan Jacob, 53), 15-Ahinga Selemani, 17-Hunter Barone (21-Zack Atwood,30; 9-Ali Jawad, 72)
Substitutions Not Used: 0-Grant Mattia
Head Coach: Lars Richters
Stats Summary: SLSG / CSAW
Shots: 16 / 9
Shots on Goal: 9 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 1 / 4
Offside: 2 / 0
CSAW – Louie Zingas (caution) 66th minute
CSAW – Matt Habroswski (caution) 80+1
Referee: Richonne Clark
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Thornberry
Assistant Referee 2: Ramond Bermudez Jr.
Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Tommy Barlow