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Tournaments Mar 10, 2012

Jefferson Cup 2012 opening day featured match: Cape Fear and Bluegrass

By Roger Gonzalez

In opening day action at the 2012 Jefferson Cup boys weekend, United 1996 FC of Kentucky aimed to come out strong in the first half of its U17 Championship group match against North Carolina’s Cape Fear Breakers at West Creek. Several early chances couldn’t hit the net, but the boys from the Bluegrass State managed to find the breakthrough nearly 30 minutes in, with midfielder Pierce Crawley finishing with class. The team then found another goal 30 seconds from time to win 2-0.

“I thought we came out in the first half and were excellent,” coach Craig Jones said. “We moved the ball very well, we defended well and had a couple opportunities. We were able to go into the half 1-0.”

Winger Matthew Dombrosky bagged the second strike to secure the win.

“It was a good result for us,” said the coach, whose team hadn’t played together since December.

Crawley’s first goal was masterful. With a move at the top of the box to get by a defender, before finishing low into the net.

“It was a real good finish,” Jones said.

“It kept our confidence up there. When you don’t score goals, you get impatient.”

Now, having started just as they wanted, the coaches and players will get some rest ahead of Saturday morning’s 9:00 a.m. game against Empire United Rochester BU17 Blue from New York. The opponent for game two lost 2-0 in its first group game. Regardless, the coach wants the same mentality as today.

“Tomorrow is just to get off to a good start in an early morning game,” Jones said.

“We are definitely as good as anyone in the country at possessing the ball. We are going to try to open up the field and put away some chances. I think [the players] will have heavy legs.”

In the team’s first trip to the Jefferson Cup, it’s been a great start. But as equally impressive for the coach has been the atmosphere.

“We love it,” he said of the tournament. “Love the facilities here, the ability to play that many games at the same field. It gives the college coaches a real good opportunity to be out there.

“I’ve been here with some other teams in the past. I’ve always liked this tournament.”

[ + Follow all 2012 Jefferson Cup action here ]