Region I Premier League concludes with tight scorelines between elite teams
The U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Premier League finals took place over the weekend as teams from across the east of the United States completed a competition that started back in March. Each age group from Under-13 to Under-18 had a 16-team league for both boys and girls divided into two groups of eight, with the top two from each group competing in semifinals and finals over the past weekend.
The winners from each bracket qualify for the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships along with the 15 Region I State Champions. The Championships begin in late June at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., so teams will have been keen to notch victories on Mother’s Day weekend to continue their progress.
Let’s take a look at what happened over the weekend, starting with the Under-18 age groups.
Of the four teams reaching the weekend in the men’s Under-18 bracket, it was Lehigh Valley and Massapequa SC who were successful in the semifinals as they beat PDA McGeough and Baltimore Celtic respectively.
In the consolation game, PDA beat Baltimore Celtic 5-1, then Lehigh Valley beat Massapequa 2-0 in the tournament final.
Meanwhile, in the women’s Under-18 playoffs, PDA Ginga took a huge 6-1 win over Mountaineer United in their semifinal, while Beadling SC defeated Quickstrike FC 2-1.
The consolation game saw Mountaineer United beat Quickstrike 5-3, then in the final PDA took a tight 4-3 win over Beadling.
In boys Under-17’s, Smithtown Kickers SC Arsenal won their semi-final convincingly 6-0 over KSC Academy DSB Kickers, while Century United defeated Manhattan SC PSG 96 2-1 in the other semi.
Following that, Manhattan took the consolation game 4-2 over Kirkwood, then Smithtown finished off a successful weekend with a 3-1 victory over Century in the final game. It was Smithtown’s third win against Century in the space of a year.
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Meanwhile, Farmingdale United and YMS Premier Wildcats took victories in the girls’ Under-17 semifinals over PSC Baltimore and Beadling Gunners respectively.
Then, after PSC Baltimore defeated Beadling 2-1 in the consolation game, Farmingdale won the final over Yardley Makefield by a margin of 1-0, extending their recent winning run and clean sheet streak to three games in a row.
Arlington Impact Red and Continental FC Premier were both winners in the boys’ Under-16 semifinals over Ironbound SC Strikers and Dix Hills Soccer Success Elite, sending both through to the final of that bracket.
In the consolation game, Dix Hills beat Ironbound 1-0, and then in the final, Continental FC beat Arlington 2-1 to end what was a victorious weekend for them.
There were some high scores in the girls’ Under-16 semifinals, as the New Jersey Stallions Dynamite beat Beadling Wolfpack 4-1, then Maryland Rush Coyotes defeated Princeton SA Premier Orange 5-0.
Following that, Beadling won the consolation game 3-1 over Princeton, then the NJ Stallions defeated the Coyotes 1-0 in the final.
The semifinals of the boys’ Under-15 bracket saw both SDFC Rangers and Loudoun 98 Red take victories as they defeated YMS Premier Inferno 3-0 and Penn Fusion 1-0 respectively.
In the consolation game, Penn Fusion beat YMS 3-0, then in the final Loudoun were victorious as they beat SDFC 1-0.
Meanwhile, the girls’ Under-15 semifinals saw two close score lines as YMS Xplosion beat BRYC 98 Elite 3-2 and Loudoun 98 Red beat Buffalo SA Crusaders 1-0.
The consolation game saw Braddock Road win 2-1 over Buffalo, then in the final Yardley Makefield took a convincing 4-1 win over Loudoun.
Baltimore Celtic Casa Mia opened the boys’ Under-14 semifinals with a 2-0 win over Dix Hills Hurricanes, when Arlington Eagles Red beat Scorpions SC Boston 3-1 in the other game.
In the consolation matchup, Dix Hills beat Scorpions 1-0, then Arlington stormed past Baltimore Celtic to win 3-0 in the final.
The girls’ Under-14 semifinals saw two close score lines as Century United Xtreme beat Manhattan SC Santos 3-2 and FC Pennsylvania Strikers defeated Annandale United FC 1-0.
Following those games, Annandale beat Manhattan 1-0, then Pennsylvania were victorious in the final over Century V by a score of 2-0.
Both semifinals in the boys’ Under-13 bracket saw the winning teams keep clean sheets as Baltimore Celtic Dynasty beat Cedar Stars Academy 1-0 and PDA Donovan defeated Loudoun 00 Red 2-0 in the other game.
Then, after Loudoun beat Cedar Stars 3-0 in the consolation match, Baltimore Celtic snuck past PDA Donovan by a score of 1-0 in the final.
Finally, the girls’ Under-13 tournament saw Greater Binghampton FC Select Riley and Premier Strikers win their semifinals by a score of 1-0 each against South Shore Select Elite and Americans SC Blue Blaze respectively.
South Shore then took a 1-0 win of their own in the consolation game over Americans SC, then in the final Greater Binghamton beat Premier Strikers 2-0 to preserve their weekend clean sheet streak.
It was an intense period of games for all teams involved in the semifinals and finals of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, with those winning teams advancing to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships.
Those championships begin in late June, and with the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships taking place relatively close by at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. in late July, there is still plenty for teams to play for.