Three local teams win National Championship Series Region I crowns
Compiled by PSW Staff
Despite having ten local teams in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series Region I championship games this morning, teams from Maryland and Virginia mustered just three championships, all on the boys side, and only one of those in an age group where the winner will advance to the National Championship Series finals to be held July 26-31 in Phoenix, Ariz.
That team will be the Under-19 Baltimore Bays Chelsea, looking to extend the Bays’ five-year streak of at least one National Championship Series champion. The other two teams winning today in Lancaster, Penn. were too young to compete at the national level. The U-12 BRYC Elite and Bethesda Lions U-13s both will have to repeat in future years if they want to go on to the national level, but certainly can take comfort in knowing they’ve won all they could this year.
Two teams took their efforts to overtime, but could not pull out wins. One was a near miss for Olney Rangers in the U-15 boys final, where the Maryland team had a 3-1 lead at one point, but allowed New Jersey’s SDFC Gauchos to draw level just before the final whistle, then were undone in the second OT by a fantastic goal. They almost drew level at the death, but were denied by a world-class save.
The U-17 boys’ final also saw SAC United Premier undone in OT after they valiantly clawed their way back into the match after falling behind 2-0, but Penn Fusion went ahead for good moments before the whistle in the first OT.
Two teams on the girls side had one-goal losses, both from Bethesda. The U-16 Freedom fell to a very strong Scorpions Elite 1-0, while the U-17 Dragons fell 2-1 to FC Stars of Mass.
This is the first year since 2008 that no girls teams from Maryland or Virginia will appear in the national finals, a dramatic drop after three teams represented the region in 2009 when the U-14 SAC Premier, U-16 McLean Strikers, and U-18 McLean Dragons all advanced.
On the boys side, this makes the second year in a row where no teams in the pre-college age groups will represent our region, after no teams at all last year advanced at all. Going back as far as we could find records, to 2004, local boys teams always made it to the final stage in at least one of the U-14-U-18 age groups.
Here is a round up of all 10 matches played today with at least one team from Maryland or Virginia participating, with links to the full match reports on US Youth Soccer’s Championship Series Website:
Under-12 Boys (8v8)
Nordic Soccer Club Premier 1 – 2 BRYC 98 Elite
Bethesda Lions 4 – 1 Arlington Impact Red
Olney Boys & Girls Club Rangers 3 – 4 (OT) SDFC Gauchos
SAC United Premier 2 – 3 (OT) Penn Fusion Celtic
Baltimore Bays Chelsea 2 – 0 Lower Merion Valez
Under-12 Girls (8v8)
Richmond Kickers Elite 2 – 4 Empire United U12G- Syracuse
SAC United Premier 1 – 4 PDA Slammers
Bethesda Freedom 0 – 1 Scorpions Elite
Bethesda Dragons 1 – 2 FC Stars of Mass
PDA Tsunami 2 – 0 Vista Shockwave