Va. State Cup: Countdown to finals weekend in girls’ divisions
By Roger Gonzalez
The Virginia Youth Soccer Association State Cup is reaching its end as few teams remain. Here is a breakdown of the girls’ side ahead of the next round of games this month. (Rankings determined by VYSA.)
No. 1 PWSI Courage 98 RED vs. No. 5 Vienna Thunder Black
No. 3 Richmond Kickers Elite vs. No. 2 BRYC 98 Elite
Outlook: PWSI won the U-14 state title and are the clear-cut favorites in this edition, but the other semifinal boasts a pair of giants who want a state crown. Any team realistically can win this competition, but expect Courage 98 Red to make it to the final. The other is a toss up between two teams with talented attacks.
No. 1 PWSI Courage 97 RED vs. No. 4 Beach FC 97G Red
No. 22 SYC Pride United vs. No. 2 Richmond Kickers Elite
Outlook: Another highly competitive semifinal with PWSI involved. The Kickers are also alive in the U-16 category and face a much easier test than the Prince William club. PWSI were finalists in the Region I championship and look most likely to earn the title as the state’s best after winning it last year. Back-to-back looks likely, but Richmond have a complete team and will be up for the challenge.
No. 1 McLean MPS ’96 Force Green vs. No. 8 FC Richmond Mystx ’96
No. 5 Beach FC 96G Red vs. No. 4 FASA Elite Impact 96
No. 3. VSA Heat 96G vs. No. 6 Richmond Kickers Elite
No. 7 SOCA Elite 17 Girls vs. No. 2 PWSI Courage 96 Red
Outlook: Eight seeds remain, and they are the eight best teams in the state in arguably the most competitive girls’ field remaining. It’s really anybody’s game as only the Mystx won by one goal, with everyone else winning their Round of 16 clash by multiple goals. This quarterfinal round should see some much closer contests.
No. 1 BRYC 95 Elite vs. No. 8 SYA Heat
No. 5 Loudoun 95G Red vs. No. 13 NVSC Majestics
No. 3 Richmond Kickers Elite vs. No. 6 Arlington Flame
No. 7 FASA Impact Elite 95 vs. No. 2 PWSI Courage 95 Gold
Outlook: Yet another age group where PWSI’s top entry is alive and hunting a trophy – but to get to the final, Courage 95 Gold will have to knock off two of the top seven teams in the state, and potentially the third-best as well. NVSC have been the shockers after taking care of McLean MPS Green Fury 95 with a 4-3 victory in the earlier stages of this year’s State Cup.
To keep the underdog story going, it will have to best Loudoun, who trounced VLSC Phoenix 6-0 in the Round of 16. SYA Heat are coming off a 5-0 win over WISC Sharks U18G Black (Tidewater SA), but BRYC were just as good with a 6-1 mauling of a gritty SOCA Elite side. With many of these girls heading to play college soccer next year, they’ll be eager to seize their last chance at earning a state crown at the club level.