First set of quarterfinals complete at Southern Regional Championships
Greensboro, N.C. (Via US Youth Soccer) — Three days of play remain at the 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships after the first half of quarterfinals took place Monday at BB&T Soccer Complex at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. The winners of today’s quarterfinals in the 13U Boys and 14U-16U Boys and Girls age groups will resume play with semifinals on Wednesday, June 27.
The other group of quarterfinals, 13U Girls and 17U-18U Boys and Girls, as well as the 19U Girls semifinals, will take place tomorrow, June 26, starting at 8:15 a.m.
After a long tough road through preliminaries, teams are continuing to dig deep as they push forward towards a Regional title and a chance to advance to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.
One team advancing from today’s quarterfinals is MS Rush 04 Boys Premier (MS). The Mississippi team knocked off Pool D winners Inter Atlanta FC Blues (GA) to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals.
“I thought the boys have done really well as we played through a really tough group and they put in an absolutely great performance today against a good Inter team,” said MS Rush head coach John Kehoe. “The game could have gone either way, so now we’re looking forward to our rest tomorrow to prepare for our game on Wednesday.”
Teams at Southern Regional Championships understand the importance of being at this stage and know it is important to stay level headed as you progress toward Nationals.
“It’s every kids dream to go and represent your state at the highest level,” continued Kehoe. We always say at any time during the year you should never get too high with wins and never get too low with defeats and just make sure you stay grounded. We just take it one game at a time.
So how does a team to celebrate making the semifinals?
“Unfortunately, I have to get my head shaved tonight because that was the bet. I’m not really looking forward to that.”
Notes from a few of Monday’s Quarterfinal matches:
Pool C winners Dallas Kicks 05 (TX-N) defeated MFC Rush Premier (MS), 3-0, to keep the clean sheet and its chances of a regional title alive. MFC had a great chance midway through the first half but the final shot attempt sailed high of the goal. Edgar Munoz looked dangerous multiple times for Dallas in the first half and had a great opportunity in on goal. It looked like Munoz would get through, but MFC’s Guyton Adcock covered the ground to stop the break. Dallas’ most dangerous chance came off a shot through the box. The shot deflected off a MFC defender and changed the shot’s direction but Thomas Childress was up to the task and made the save to keep the teams level. Dallas’ pressure paid off in the second half as they score three goals to carry the North Texas team to victory. Edson Marchan started the scoring early in the second half and then Munoz found his scoring touch to notch a brace with goals in the 59th and 64th minutes. Munoz’ two goals not only sealed the deal, but also tied him at the top of the age group goal scoring leaderboard with six to his name.
Solar 04 Rundell (TX-N) defeated TN United Red (TN), 2-0, to earn its spot in the 14U Girls semifinals. Solar were the aggressors in the first half and earned a dangerous corner early but the ball was gobbled up by the United keeper, Lexi Berry. United did not press many times down the field in the first half but had one promising opportunity on a fast break down the left side of the field. Solar’s Delaney Daly covered all the way across the field to stop the attempt and keep the score level going into halftime. Solar finally found its breakthrough early in the second half as Berry stifled a Solar 1v1 opportunity. Despite the save, the rebound bounced out to Taryn Martin who made no mistakes in finishing her chance for a 1-0 Solar lead. Martin added her second goal of the game, and third of the tournament, just three minutes later, to push the lead to 2-0. Martin received a pass, made a quick touch to get by the defender and finished her chance on the keeper. Solar held United at bay for the rest of the half to earn its spot in the semifinals.
MS Rush 04 Boys Premier (MS) defeated Inter Atlanta FC Blues (GA), 2-1, in 14U Boys quarterfinal play. After a scoreless first half, Rush’s Lewis Knotts gave his side the lead on the end of a penalty kick. Jackson Travis doubled that advantage just five minutes later with another penalty kick bringing the score to 2-0. Inter pressed hard to fight back and had a great chance when Italo Jenkins hit a blast right at Rush’s keeper, Andrew Burks. Burks was up to the task and parried the ball with both hands over the goal to hold the lead for his team. Inter pulled one back in the 56th minute as Evan Schroeder’s chance rang off the post and then fell to Jenkins who finished the follow up opportunity. Inter kept pushing for an equalizer but the Rush defense and some stellar saves by Burks held the score until the final whistle to send Rush through to the semifinals.
Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN) earned a, 2-1, overtime victory over HFC 03 Blue (AL) to earn a spot in the 15U Girls semifinals. Sydney Davis scored in the 12th minute to give Lobos the early advantage. Davis brought down the ball between defenders and managed to control the ball to hit her shot to the bottom left corner for the goal. HFC would not go down without a fight as Kennedi Henton scored late in the first half to level the score. With neither team able to score a goal in the second half, the game moved to overtime. Lobos’ Hadleigh Watson tallied on the final goal for Lobos late in the second overtime period to snatch victory and earn the Tennessee side a spot in the semifinals.
In a back and forth match, MSC Lakers LPDL (SC) defeated 03 NCFC Premier (NC) with an overtime goal in the 105th minute. As the game progressed to the second half after a scoreless first 40 minutes, each team had great chances to seal the deal before the end of regulation. MSC looked to have taken the lead but had a goal called offside as the runner did not hold his run. MSC had another great chance as Caleb Nicotri hit a long shot that was saved by David Howard down to his right. NCFC had a dangerous chance off a corner off of Jeremy Alvarez’s low driven ball but, after a scrum in the box, the chance was cleared out. After a scoreless regulation, the game moved to overtime where Jeb Broussard sealed the deal for MSC by scoring late in the second overtime to send his team through to the semifinals.
Group D runners-up, Rise SC 02 Elite 1 (TX-S) defeated Pool C winners, Oklahoma Energy Football Club 02 (OK), 2-1, to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals. Melinda Hovnatanian put Rise up in just the fifth minute of play when she cut in from the left side of the field and hit a long looping shot over the keeper. Rise’s Madison Bowers increased the lead to 2-0 in the 62nd minute as the game kept going back and forth between the teams. McKenna Dunlap scored her third goal of the tournament – in the 74th minute – to put her team right back in the mix of things. Oklahoma’s defense held strong during the final minutes of play and they advance to the semifinals with the 2-1 victory.
After a scoreless first half, Ives Estates Thunder Premier (FL) scored twice in the second half to earn a, 2-0, victory over MOBA-02 Elite (GA). As the game progressed from a scoreless first half, Florida had a great chance to take a lead early in the second. Florida’s Daniel Vicich drew a penalty kick but the ensuing penalty kick went wide left. Each teamed earned dangerous corner opportunities but neither side could get a finishing touch to score the match’s first goal. Ives finally broke through in the 57th minute when a ball across the box went all the way through and Daniel Kwak smashed a shot low and to the back post for a goal. MOBA pushed for an equalizer but kept being thwarted by great saves by Ives’ Simon Mertnoff in net. Ives earned its second penalty kick of the match and Jayden Bernal made no mistakes in converting his chance to push the score to 2-0. The Ives defense held through the final whistle and they earned a clean sheet and a spot in the semifinals.
Regional winners of the 13U through 19U age groups earn a berth to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as
the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 14U through 18U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.