US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Champions crowned in Virginia
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2018 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships came to an exciting conclusion on Tuesday in Spotsylvania, Va., as 16 teams claimed titles. In addition to stepping off the field as Regional Champions, winners in the 13U through 19U age groups also earned berths to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
Maryland led the way with six Eastern Regional Champions, and Eastern Pennsylvania followed with four. Pennsylvania West added three champions, while New Jersey, New York West and Virginia each had one team apiece win a title.
2018 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Champions
|12U Girls*||MRM Academy Coyotes Blue 06||MD|
|13U Boys||Ukrainian National 2005 Black||PA-E|
|13U Girls||Pipeline SC Pre-Academy||MD|
|14U Boys||Real Jersey FC||NJ|
|14U Girls||Philadelphia SC Coppa Swarm 04||PA-E|
|15U Boys||Beadling Elite 2003||PA-W|
|15U Boys||# GPS NY Regional Team||NY-W|
|15U Girls||Keystone FC Premier 03||PA-E|
|16U Boys||Arlington SA 2002 Red||VA|
|16U Girls||North United Rush||PA-W|
|17U Boys||OBGC Rangers Blue 2001||MD|
|17U Girls||BC United 01||NY-W|
|17U Girls||# FC Stars 01||MA|
|18U Boys||Baltimore Celtic SC 00||MD|
|18U Boys||# Baltimore Bays 00||MD|
|18U Girls||Century V Gold||PA-W|
|19U Boys||Baltimore Celtic SC Christos||MD|
|19U Girls||FC Pennsylvania Strikers||PA-E|
# Advances to National Championships as Eastern representative. 15U Boys Beadling, 17U Girls BC United and 18U Boys Baltimore Celtic to represent the National League.
*There is no 12U age group at the National Championships.
Several of the championship matches required overtime or penalties to decide the winner, as champions and finalists gave maximum effort in pursuit of the regional titles. For 17U OBGC Rangers Blue 2001 (MD), a goal in the final minutes of regulation gave it a dramatic win.
“We’ve been training hard for the past few weeks, and we built up some momentum over the last couple of games after a bit of a slow start,” OBGC coach Peter Wood. “Today was a just a battle of two good teams playing at a high level. It was a game that could go either way, but we came out on top. We’re happy to be going to Nationals and hopefully we can do well there.
After five tough days of competition, Wood said there is a lot that goes into winning an Eastern Regional Championship and finishing on top of an event that features the best teams from around the northeast.
“It’s very rewarding. Sometimes the best teams don’t even win. You have to have a little luck here and there, and ride it,” Wood said. “It’s a testament to the boys’ hard work and determination. Not just the starting group, but the guys who came off the bench. They all have a similar role to play.”
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.
Highlights from the Eastern Regional Championships Finals…
FCUSA (MD) registered a 3-1 win against NJ Elite Litmanen (NJ) to take the 12U Boys title. John Andrus put FCUSA in front after five minutes of play, but NJ pulled level early in the second half on an Eric Sadlocha goal. Overtime loomed as a possibility, but Andrus and Charles Greene netted goals in the final few minutes to give FCUSA the victory and regional title.
It took overtime, but MRM Academy Coyotes Blue 06 (MD) managed to take down a previously dominant Cedar Stars Bergen 06 Black (NJ) side, 1-0, in the 12U Girls final. After a scoreless regulation, Rayna Soto found the back of the net in the 66th minute to put MRM in front. The Maryland side’s defense finished a very strong game by shutting out Cedar Stars, which had averaged more than five goals per game entering the match.
A tight 13U Boys final needed penalties to decide the winner, as Ukrainian National 2005 Black (PA-E) won a thrilling 4-3 (PK) game against SDor Barca 05 Elite (VA). The game started fast, as Brayden Ahlum put National up in the opening minute, but Diego Caceras quickly replied to equalize for Barca. Caceras added a second just before halftime to give the Virginia side a 2-1 lead at the break. In the dying minutes of regulation, Stephen Davis netted a tying goal for National to send the match to overtime. Barca’s Nweed Nasri scored early in overtime, but Jake Freedman replied in the 84th minute to pull National even. In the shootout, the Eastern PA side converted 3 attempts to Barca’s 1, as it took the regional title.
An early offensive barrage propelled Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD) to a 4-0 win over Fury 2005 (WV) in the 14U Girls championship match. Hannah Jibril scored within the first minute of play, and Laci Bell gave Pipeline a 2-0 less than 10 minutes into the contest. Payton Schenning extended the lead to 3-0 shortly after, as the Maryland side built up plenty of momentum. Pipeline continued its tournament-long shutout streak, and Schenning added a fourth goal, as Pipeline came away with the 4-0 victory.
A pair of second-half goals helped Real Jersey FC (NJ) defeat Arlington SA Red 04 (VA) to take the 14U Boys title. Real had a couple of good early looks, but the Arlington keeper got down quick to save each attempt. After halftime, the New Jersey side made sure to cash in on its chances, beginning with a 36th-minute goal by Andrew Kitch. Real went up 2-0 in the 65th minute when Cade McGrath found the back of the net, and Jersey held on for the final five minutes to secure the victory and the championship.
A late goal fueled a 2-1 win for Philadelphia SC Coppa Swarm 04 (PA-E) against SJEB Rush 04 Academy (NJ) in the 14U Girls final. Madison Crozier gave Philadelphia an early lead with a strike in the sixth minute. That advantage held until the 41st minute, when Camryn Silvestro found the back of the net to pull SJEB level. Philadelphia earned a dangerous free kick in the 56th minute, which Mary Trudeau sent up and over the wall before seeing the ball hit the inside of the left post and find the back of the net. That proved to be the difference-maker, as the Eastern PA side held on for the 2-1 victory.
Beadling Elite 2003 (PA-W) capped a dominant run with a 5-0 win over GPS NY Regional Team (NY-W) in the 15U Boys final. A hand ball in the box led to an early Beadling penalty kick, which Ethan Sanders sent past a diving keeper to give the PA West side the lead. Joseph Fonagy followed that up with a goal in the seventh minute to give Beadling full control of the early portion of the match. GPS pushed to pull a goal back, but Sanders added another strike after the half to push the Beadling advantage to 3-0. Cyrus Khani and Anthony DiFalco also added late tallies to cap the victory. With Beadling advancing to Frisco as a National League champion, GPS will move on to the National Championships as the East Region rep.
Keystone FC Premier 03 (PA-E) allowed just one goal against the entire tournament and finished its run with a 1-0 victory over GPS NY Regional Team (NY-W) to win the 15U Girls title. GPS entered the match having allowed just two goals through four games, and the battle of two tough defenses played out with a scoreless regulation. In overtime, Elena Hinkson netted the pivotal breakthrough goal, and that proved to be the game-winner in Keystone’s 1-0 victory.
Arlington SA 2002 Red (VA) earned a 3-0 win over BC United 2002 Select (NY-W) to capture the 16U Boys crown. After a scoreless first 30 minutes of play, Joseph Core found the back of the net to put Arlington in front. A nice combination of passing early in the second half helped the Virginia side double its lead. Core ran on to a through ball in the left side of the box and lunged forward to use his first touch to square a ball to Branden Johns, who finished at the back post. Theodore Ku-DiPietro made it 3-0 later in the second half, and Arlington held on to win by that score — punching its ticket to the National Championships.
North United Rush (PA-W) fought back from a two-goal deficit to defeat SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue (NJ), 3-2, and claim its first Eastern Regional Championship in its third final appearance. Amanda Attanasi put SJEB in front in the seventh minute, and she doubled the lead 10 minutes later when she cut back across a defender and placed her shot into the left corner of the net. Lucy Ream quickly pulled North United within one when her attempt just made it over the goal line before a defender could clear it. Ream added a second goal in the 62nd minute to pull the PA West side level, and Megan Donnelly scored her sixth goal of the tournament in the final minutes to give North United the 3-2 victory.
It came down the final moments of the 17U Boys final to decide a winner, as OBGC Rangers Blue 2001 (MD) edged Wall Elite Cosmos (NJ), 1-0. The game flowed back and forth, but neither side managed to break through as the clock neared 90 minutes. With just two minutes to go in regulation, Ryan Elie turned and shot from the top of the box and watched the ball bend just inside the right post to give OBGC a 1-0 lead. The New Jersey side pushed numbers forward and played a couple balls into the box, but OBGC cleared the danger to hold on for the shutout victory.
In a tight match, an early goal made all the difference as BC United 01 (NY-W) won, 1-0, against FC Stars 01 (MA) in the 17U Girls final. Angelina Fahrenkrug found the back of the net just seconds after the game’s opening whistle — giving BC United an immediate lead. The New York West side did well to protect that slim advantage for nearly the full 90 minutes, as FC Stars pressed for an equalizer. However, BC United stood strong and took the 1-0 victory. With BC United advancing to Frisco as a National League winner, FC Stars will also move on to the National Championships as the East Region rep.
In a battle of Baltimore teams, Baltimore Celtic SC 00 (MD) snuck past Baltimore Bays 00 (MD) with a 2-1 victory. Devin McCarthy put Celtic up early with a fourth-minute strike, and his side played with the lead for much of the opening half. However, Ryan Belfiore equalized for the Bays in the 40th minute to send the teams into the second half level at 1-1. Celtic nearly grabbed a lead at the hour mark, but a penalty kick attempt stung the left post and stayed out. However, Celtic quickly regrouped, and Benjamin Stitz slid home a bouncing ball off of a corner kick to put his side in front. That proved to be the game-winner, as Celtic hung on for the victory to become Eastern Regional Champions. With Celtic advancing to Frisco as a National League winner, Baltimore Bays will also move on to the National Championships as the East Region rep.
With its only shutout of the event, Century V Gold (PA-W) did enough to take down Princeton SA (NJ), 1-0, in the 18U Girls final. After a scoreless first half, Sophia Hudson notched a 65th-minute goal to give Century V the lead. The PA West side’s back line remained organized in the final 25 minutes of play, as it prevented Princeton from finding an equalizer — allowing Century V to hold on for the victory and to punch its ticket to the National Championships.
Two strong defensive sides met in the 19U Boys final, and goals proved hard to come by, as Baltimore Celtic SC Christos (MD) came away with a 1-0 overtime win against Loudoun Red (VA). After a scoreless 90 minutes, Matthew Bailey registered a goal in the first overtime period to put Baltimore in front. The Celtic defense, along with 2015 National Championships Golden Glove winner and U.S. Youth National Team goalkeeper Quantrell Jones, made sure that strike stood up. The Maryland side held off late Loudoun attempts at tying the match, and Baltimore took the win to earn a chance to play for the historic James P. McGuire Cup at the National Championships.
Emily McNesby vaulted to the top of the division’s leading scorers — scoring four goals to help fuel a 5-0 finals victory for FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E) against Syracuse Development Academy (NY-W). McNesby scored her first goal in the 15th minute and added two more before half to help Penn Strikers grab control of the game. An 84th-minute strike by McNesby extended the advantage, and Brianna Austin added a goal in the final minutes to cap the victory.