US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships Day 1 Recap
Preliminary Games, Day 1 of 3
SEATTLE (Via US Youth Soccer) — More than 230 teams, including three former US Youth Soccer National Champions or finalists, kicked off the 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships Monday at the 60 Acres Soccer Complex in Redmond, Washington.
Teams from all over the western United States took the field with the goal of taking the next step toward claiming the coveted US Youth Soccer National Championship in their respective age group.
Monday’s action saw three of the six defending Region IV Champions drop points, as the difficulty of each game was made evident. One of the 2016 winners who managed to come away with a win to begin the week was 16U Boys LVSA 01 Red (NV), who earned a 2-1 victory in a hard-fought game against CV SJ Earthquakes PDA 01 (CA-N).
“The Region IV Championships are very tough. Every boys’ side has an opportunity to win,” LVSA coach Tommy Tate said. “They’re here for a reason. They’re all state champs or regional league winners and all have great players. So, if you’re not up to it on the day, you could lose.”
The 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships feature 230 of the top boys and girls teams from the 14 State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer Region IV, with each squad competing for the 2017 regional title. Preliminary games will be held June 19-21, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals taking place June 23-25. Games will be played at the 60 Acres Soccer Complex in Redmond, Wash., within the Seattle metro area.
Here are a few recaps from the first day of group play…
A thrilling 13U Girls match saw Rush 04G (HI) earn a 5-4 win against Arsenal FC (CA-S) in Group C action. Arsenal’s Breeanne Brewer put her side up after five minutes of play, but Hawaii responded with a trio of goals from Aubrey Lynn Dunaway, Kailee Wilson and Anuhea Aluli in a 10-minute span to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. Brewer and Megan Mehas responded for Arsenal after the break to level the game at 3-3 in the 46th minute. However, Maria Kenagy and Jessica Aiko Noelani Sugimura each found the back of the net for Hawaii to put the Rush back up by two goals. Calianne Brewer added a late goal for Arsenal, but it wasn’t enough, as Hawaii hung on for the victory.
LVPSA 03 Red (NV) recorded a 3-1 win over Utah Avalanche 03 (UT) to open up its week of play in the 14U Girls age group. The Nevada side picked up a key early goal when Olivia Garcia found the back of the net in the 10th minute. LVPSA built off of that momentum and doubled its lead on an Arianna Vigil strike in the 21st minute. Utah cut its deficit to one goal just after halftime through a Megan Lusher tally. However, Jacqueline Hillegass added a 46th-minute insurance goal for LVPSA to help the Nevada side seal the victory.
Washington Rush (WA) held off a late push from Sting Timbers FC 00G (ID) to win, 4-2, on the first day of 17U Girls play. The Rush grabbed a two-goal lead in the opening 10 minutes thanks to strikes from Michaela Danyo and Callie Wright. Trina Davis pushed the lead to 4-0 with what would prove to be an important pair of goals after the half. The Idaho side got in the board with an Annica Wilson strike in the 71st minute, and Megan Drake made it 4-2 with a goal in the 86th minute. However, Washington saw out the final few minutes to earn the victory and three points in Group B.
Playing in front of a local crowd, 19/20U Girls Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) began its final pursuit of a second National Championship with a convincing win over Santa Clara Sporting 98G Green (CA-N) to open group play on Monday. After a scoreless first half, Eastside began its scoring outburst in the 58th minute when Olivia Van Der Jagt’s shot took a deflection and crept past the Santa Clara keeper. Eight minutes later, Joanna Harber converted a penalty kick inside the left post to double the lead. Makaylie Moore pushed the lead to 3-0 shortly after by rounding the keeper and finishing into an open net. Alexa Kirton added two late goals, and Emily Arron tacked on another, as the 2013 National Champions took a big step toward advancing to the Region IV quarterfinals.
In the 13U Boys age group, Tuzos Academy 04 (AZ) started off its week with a 3-1 win over Alaska Rush 04B (AK). It didn’t take long for Tuzos to jump in front, as Santiago Renteria netted a seventh-minute breakthrough to put his side in front. That score held until the 51st minute, when Baldemar Guillen found the back of the net to double the Arizona lead. Alexander DeVassie pulled a goal back for Alaska, but Guillen provided an immediate response with his second strike — helping Tuzos come away with the win in Group A play.
After facing an early two-goal deficit, La Roca Premier 02 (UT) fought back to pick up three points in Group D of the 15U Boys age group with a 3-2 win over Eastside Timbers 02B Red (OR). The Oregon side jumped out in front with goals from Nicholas Lattal and Tommy Faevtsev in the first 24 minutes. But La Roca gained some key momentum before the half with a strike from Austin Ciampini. Still, the Timbers maintained the lead for a significant portion of the game before Dyson Clapier equalized in the 75th minute for La Roca. Just two minutes later, the Utah side scored what proved to be the game-winner when Bode Davis found the back of the net to complete the comeback victory.
Westside Timbers 01B Copa (OR) recorded a clean sheet in a 2-0 win on Monday against RIO Rapids SC 01 (NM). The two 16U Boys sides were evenly matched in the first 45 minutes, as neither team managed to break through with an opening goal. However, Westside struck shortly after the break when Miguel Maldonado found the back of the net in the 49th minute. Alex Fernandez doubled the Oregon side’s advantage in the 76th minute when he laced a left-footed strike from a tight angle to the near post and past the keeper — sealing the 2-0 victory.
In the 18U Boys age group, Real Colorado National (CO) began its week with a 2-0 shutout win against Sc Del Sol 99 (AZ). It took more than an hour for the teams to be separated, as both defenses held strong for the first 65 minutes of play. Raghav Thapa changed that when he beat the Del Sol keeper to put Real Colorado up, 1-0, midway through the second half. The Arizona side pushed for an equalizer, but Waleed Al-Alem added an 88th-minute goal for Real Colorado to seal the 2-0 win.
Regional winners of the 13U through 19/20U age groups earn a berth to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 24–30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 15U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.