US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships Day 2 Recap
Greensboro, N.C. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships continued Saturday at the BB&T Soccer Complex at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. More than 210 games have been completed, and tomorrow’s action will decide the seeding of 112 teams moving on to the quarterfinal round.
UFA Milton 00 Premier (GA) was one of the handful of teams that has already qualified for a spot in the quarterfinals after just two days of play.
“We definitely want to win the group so the third game is very important for us,” said UFA head coach Craig Berounsky. “Our intention all along was to come in and win the group and we’ve put ourselves in a good spot after winning the first two. Now it’s just a matter of healing and resting and coming back ready to come back and win the group outright tomorrow.”
Even if teams have qualified, they will need to bring their best on Day Three of play as teams will look to secure top seeds moving forward into the quarterfinals.
“All along we’ve come in and we’ve felt like we have a good shot of winning this whole thing but our policy is one game at a time,” continued Berounsky. “Even though we’ve already advanced into the quarters, we want to win our group so we get a better seeding. We’re going to show up tomorrow and act like it’s the first game of the tournament and hopefully get the result we’re looking for.
Notes from a few of today’s games:
CES Juventus Zoff (FL) defeated CESA 05 Premier (SC) to claim sole ownership of the top spot in Pool B in the 13U Boys age group. After CESA hit the post early and almost took the lead, CES put the pressure on the South Carolina side by scoring three goals in six minutes. CES almost took the lead when Martin Jaramillo found a teammate streaking into the box but the attempt was shot over the top of the bar. Emmanuel Perez set up the first goal, cutting through three CESA defenders and played a ball from the endline across to Jaramillo for a close range finish. Jaramillo added a second goal just four minutes later, heading in a lofted ball into the box. CES pushed the advantage to three as Angel Perez beat the defenders and the keeper to a ball whipped into the box to finish his chance. CESA tried to battle back but only managed a late consolation goal thanks to a Jonathan Howard.
FC Dallas Blue (TX-N) and Florida Rush 1 (FL) played to a 1-1 draw on Day Two of play at the 2018 Southern Regional Championships. FC Dallas took the lead in the 18th minute after drawing a foul in the box. FC Dallas’ Olivia Trotter stepped up to take the penalty kick and had her first chance saved but then followed up to smash the rebound home. Kendall Brown responded just eight minutes later when she broke down the left flank after leaving some FC Dallas in her wake. Brown hit a looping shot up and over the FC Dallas keeper to equalize the teams at 1-1. The two teams went back and forth trying to find a game winner, but neither side could break the deadlock and the game ended 1-1. The draw leaves each team with four points and tied at the top of Pool C in the 14U Girls age group.
A lone goal by Ambush SC 03 Red (GA) was all it needed in its, 1-0, victory over MFC Rush 03 Premier (MS). Ambush controlled the game early and finally got its goal in the 31st minute thanks to Suraj Mysore to take 1-0 lead. Rush battled back at the end of half and had a great chance off a freekick. A long lofted free kick floated into the box but the flick-on-header went straight to the Ambush keeper. Ambush responded by earning a couple great corner opportunities but could not get the final connection on the balls into the box they needed to test the keeper again. Ambush played strong defensively in the second half, keeping Rush from any true shot opportunities on goal. Rush’s best chance came when Brodie Rials whipped in a great corner kick from the right side but no runners could get on the end of it to put it away. The Ambush defense held and Mysore’s goal was enough to earn the Georgia side a 1-0 victory.
Team Boca (FL) sealed its spot in the quarterfinals with a, 2-0, victory against LA Fire Jrs Red (LA). Jade Euell added her second goal of the tournament, in the 14th minute, to give Boca a 1-0 edge early. Team Boca carried that lead into halftime and then pulled away when Emily Schleifer, tied for age group leading goal scorer, added Boca’s second in the 56th minute. LA Fire could not break the Boca defense and the Florida side clinches a spot in the quarterfinals with one preliminary game remaining.
In a battle of two North Texas sides, Solar 01 Stricker (TX-N) defeated Sporting United 01 (TX-N), 4-1, to earn three crucial points in an extremely tight 17U Boys Pool A game. Solar got the jump on Sporting in just the first minute of play as Bryson Bezdek gave his team a very early advantage. Sporting equalized in the 15th minute when Sebastian Mendez caught Solar napping on a quickly taken freekick and buried his chance into the upper left corner of the net. The concession lit a fire under Solar who scored two goals in two minutes. Julian Fernandez got the ball on the top of the box and hit a low ball to the bottom right to regain the lead. Just a minute later, Burl Shepherd ran through a bouncing ball, kept control through a crowd and finished his chance close range against the Sporting keeper. Solar’s Shay Adamson added a late goal in the 78th minute to seal the 4-1 victory for Stricker.
UFA Milton 00 Premier (GA) came back to earn a, 2-1, victory over D’Feeter Kicks 00 (TX-N). Kicks took the early lead thanks to a Jaida Thomas goal in just the fourth minute of play. The action continued back and forth with UFA’s Kathrine Richardson keeping her team in the game with clutch saves in the first half. UFA finally equalized in the 39th minute of play when a floated ball in the box knocked in at close range by Hannah Casey after being headed back across goal. In the second half, Kicks almost once again took the lead but Richardson got a piece of a 1v1 attempt to take the pace off the ball. The ball bounced towards goal but was cleared off the line to keep the teams level. UFA kept pressing and finally grabbed a lead in the 50th minute when Nicole Icen juggled through a few defenders, spun and hit a shot close range to take the lead. Kicks had a prime chance to level when Jaida Thomas drew a PK due to a handball off a cross attempt into the box. Richardson made a great diving save to her right but was called to have left her line early. On the retake, the spot kick was kicked high over the bar. Each team continued pressing, but UFA was able to wear down the clock and grab an important three points to push its total to six in two days.
Cedar Stars Green (TX-S) defeated Cajun SC Fury 99 (LA), 3-1, and now sits alone atop of 19U Boys Pool C with six points. Cedar Stars took the lead in the eighth minute but it was short lasted as Cajun Fury’s Parrish Anderson leveled just five minutes later. The action continued, back-and-forth, until Anthony Trejo put Cedar back in the lead in the 22nd minute. Fury pushed for the equalizer in the second half and came close after a long ball down the left side opened up a great opportunity but the shot flashed wide right of the goal. As Cajun continued to press, it opened up counter opportunities for Cedar. The South Texas side finally found another opening after a long ball over the top found Jose Torres in stride. Torres poked the ball under the onrushing keeper and then finished his open net opportunity to bring the final score to 3-1.