US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup Day 1 Recap
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Via US Youth Soccer) – The 2018 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup kicked off Thursday at the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Ind. The four-day event features 48 US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls teams in the 13U through 18U age groups that have earned their way to the National Presidents Cup via success in their respective US Youth Soccer Regional Presidents Cup events.
The US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup offers teams the challenge of experiencing different types of play by competing from state to regional to national levels. The Presidents Cup provides teams with a progressive, competitive experience that highlights competition, camaraderie and community.
The first day of play brought out both exciting and anxious competitive styles. In the 15U Boys age group, Den of Lions Gunners (NJ) denied 03 Sporting Wichita Elite (KS) from walking away with the win as the New Jersey side earned a late equalizer with the players’ hard work displayed throughout the game.
“We’ve been working all year. Since last year, we haven’t stopped,” assistant coach Brandon Goncalves said. “This is about our 40th game this season, and coming down to National Presidents Cup, [the players] are a little nervous, but they’re prepared for it. This is an honor, not just for myself and the coaches, but for the players as well. For most of them, it’s their first time here. This is an experience for them to have fun, and hopefully, we’ll come out with the win.”
The US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup will continue preliminary games through Saturday, July 14. Championship and third place matches will take place on Sunday, July 15.
For more information on the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, visit www.usyouthsoccer.org/
A few highlights from Thursday’s matches:
Sporting Wichita (KS) notched a 1-0 victory over SCCSA Dragons 05 (PA-E) in the 13U Boys age group. Despite Sporting Wichita taking control of the game, the first half ended in a scoreless draw. However, Irwin Macias broke through in the 46th minute as he went off on a breakaway, beat the goalkeeper and smashed the ball into the goal. Macias nearly scored off of the same play when he beat the keeper once again, but his shot went wide. Sporting Wichita held on to the win to kick off the first day of play.
An early goal helped propel DASC 2005 (SD) to a 1-0 win over Pipeline Black (MD) in its opening match in Indiana. The South Dakota side made its first venture into the Pipeline half, as Taite Scheafer curled a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net to put DASC on top. Despite a couple of close calls for DASC later in the half, the game went to the break with just the one goal separating the two sides. Pipeline came close to an equalizer around the 55th minute, but an attempt off of a corner kick was saved off the line by a DASC defender on the back post. The follow-up shot flew into the South Dakota keeper’s hands, and she held it to end the threat. DASC saw out the remaining minutes of the match to hold on to the 1-0 win and pick up three points in the standings.
Central California Aztecs 04 (CA-S) earned a 2-1 win after going down one goal against CFA Dalton 04 Elite (GA). Nicolas Cuna scored the first goal of the match, putting CFA in the lead in the 12th minute. Luis Gill Maravilla put away the equalizer just before halftime, allowing Aztecs to start the second half with a clean slate. In the 66th minute, Matthew Mendoza scored the game winning goal for Aztecs.
LVSA 04 White (NV) started off the event with a 4-0 win over 04 CVYSA Blast Blue G (NC). A goal in the first minute of the game from Audree Morter gave the team the confidence to keep possession and control the game. The next goal didn’t come until the second half when the ball was played over the defense and Alysia Aspiazu ran onto it to place the ball in the opposite corner of the keeper. Alexis Romeo made it a 3-0 game when she found the ball in the 18-yard box and finished the goal with a left bottom corner placement. Megan Larocque then topped off the match with a 65th-minute goal.
In the 15U Boys age group, Den of Lions Gunners (NJ) and 03 Sporting Wichita Elite (KS) battled to a 1-1 draw. Jackson Heckart netted a goal in the sixth minute of the game to gain the lead for Sporting Wichita. The Kansas side continued to work and swing the ball around the field for the first half but was unable to gain some breathing room. Gunners picked up its game in the second half and created several opportunities around the goal, searching for the perfect shot, while Sporting Wichita went into full defensive mode and tried to keep the ball out. However, in the 75th minute, Gunners earned a corner kick, which led to a scramble around the goal line, and Grant Shevrin poked the ball into the net for the equalizer.
HFC Ready 03 (PA-E) defeated IP Aces Blue (IL), 2-1, for the first day of play within the 15U Girls age group. Taylor Yoder put HFC on the board with her goal in the ninth minute, and Reagan Ertel added a second just three minutes later. In the second half, Avery Larson pulled one back for Aces, but HFC held onto the win.
Heat FC 02 GR (NV) netted a late equalizer to earn a point in a 2-2 draw against Music City FC Premier (TN). Music City got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when Victor Jared Hernandez received a pass in the six-yard box and slipped a shot inside the near post. That tally was countered by Heat FC’s Sebastian Ramirez. Music City went in front in the 47th minute when Julio Alfaro found the back of the net, and the Tennessee side fought to hold on to the 2-1 lead. However, with just a few minutes remaining in the match, Heat FC equalized when Ariel Garcia rose up to head a corner kick into the left side-netting to force a 2-2 draw.
LVPSA 02 Red (NV) picked up a 1-0 win against Mutiny FC 02 White (TX-N). It was a fairly even first half between the teams, but long balls and through balls around the LVPSA defense led to some of the best opportunities for Mutiny. Evelyn Slaughter had a solid chance to put Mutiny ahead as she took on a few defenders to find space for a free shot, but the ball went over the crossbar. LVPSA kicked off the second half by scoring the only goal of the game as Heidi Smith sent a long shot that dipped under the crossbar just in time. The Nevada team continued to pressure Mutiny’s defense, yet it walked away with the 1-0 victory in the end.
Brownsville Galaxy (TX-S) came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat 7 Elite Academy 01 South (UT), 3-2, in a 17U Boys matchup. Elite Academy scored first in the 14th minute when the ball was crossed in and Sawyer Heaton went in for the sliding finish. The Utah side kept the ball in its offensive half and increased its lead as Oscar Quintero finished an indirect free kick from inside the 18-yard box. Brownsville Galaxy came out of halftime with determination to get in the game, getting on the board when Jonathan Mendoza touched the ball past a defender to cut him off and passed the ball for Mark Boswell to score a 52nd-minute goal. Three minutes later, Mendoza earned one of his own, scoring a penalty kick to tie up the match. With the entire Brownsville Galaxy team working together, the South Texas side stole the lead as Albert Maradiaga buried a goal from inside the 18-yard box.
Chicago Rush Select (IL) moved to the top of the 17U Girls standings with a 5-1 win over Rage United Comets (PA-E). In the first half, Brooke Brodzinski scored a 19th-minute goal for Chicago Rush, but Rage’s Lauren Pettoni tied up the match three minutes later. Brodzinski put Chicago Rush in the lead once again just before half, and the Illinois side took off from there. Taryn Sandei and Meredith Conant each added a goal, and Brodzinski completed a hat trick with one more.
Barcelona AZ 00 (AZ) claimed a 2-1 victory over Tampa Dynamo Red (FL) in an 18U Boys matchup. The first five minutes of the game included plenty of action as Barcelona’s Donovahn Duhaney scored in the first minute, and Tampa Dynamo’s Christopher Quijanos made it a tied game four minutes later. It wasn’t until the 86th minute when Jorge Reyes found the back of the net for the Barcelona game winner.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge – VE United (PA-E) and Green White SC (IL) each earned a point on Thursday, as the two sides played to a 2-2 draw. The Eastern Pennsylvania side grabbed a 10th-minute lead when Caroline Weir found the back of the net, but Green White quickly replied. After a foul in the box, Kristin Schneider stepped up to the penalty spot and sent a low shot into the left corner to level the score. VE United nearly grabbed a lead just before half, but Kathryn Morrow came inches away from getting on the end of a cross to the back post. Green White grabbed a lead shortly after halftime by cashing in on a free kick. After the VE United keeper made a diving save on the initial attempt, Ashley Welk hit home the rebound to give the Illinois side the lead. In the 64th minute, Mackenzie Edwards received a quick throw in at the top of the Green White box and struck a right-footed shot that skipped once before finding the left corner of the net to level the score. Shortly after, a dipping VE United shot forced the Illinois keeper to tip the ball off the bar to keep the score at 2-2. VE United withstood a late surge from Green White, as the teams split the points with a draw.
To view all of Thursday’s results, check out the schedule, standings and scores website.