Virginia State Cup U15-U18 Girls Final Four Preview
The Virginia State Cup comes to a dramatic finish this weekend at the VYSA Training Center in Fredericksburg, where the U-15 through U-18 age groups will play their semifinal rounds on Saturday leading into the finals on Sunday. See below for previews of the match-ups on the girls side.
Returning State Cup finalists Arlington Comets Red are coming off a strong 2014-2015 season, placing first in the Region I Champions League Division 2 Red, reaching the finals of the Bethesda Premier Cup’s Liberty Division, and the semifinals of the Jefferson Cup Superior Black Division and Virginian Elite Showcase Premier Gold Division. Over Columbus Day weekend, Arlington won the U-15 A Flight of the 2015 WAGS Tournament, one of the most competitive girls events in the country. The team is off to a 4-0-2 start in the Club Champions League (CCL), following up on a 9-2-4 mark for the 2014-2015 campaign. Comets earned the No. 1 seed in Flight B of the State Cup and have allowed only one goal through four games in the competition.
Fellow CCL side SOCA Elite also had a top-five finish in the CCL last season, compiling a 9-4-2 record. SOCA remains unbeaten through four CCL matches this season at 3-0-1, and took the No. 2 spot in Flight A of the State Cup group stage, edging out McLean 3-2 in the final game to secure their trip to Fredericksburg. SOCA was a finalist in the 2014 Bethesda Premier Cup ASL Division and won the Premier Division at the Virginia Cup Labor Day Tournament.
Reigning State Cup champions and Region I finalists NVSC Jr. Majestics have a challenging road ahead as they go for a repeat this weekend, taking on CYA Santos on Saturday for a chance to get back into the state title match. NVSC has torn through the competition so far, outscoring opponents 13-3 en route to an unblemished 4-0-0 record. Class of 2018 forward Chloe Olson has been selected for the 2015-2016 Region I ODP roster pool. Olson and her running mate up top Morgan Bynum combined for seven goals at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships.
CYA Santos got through the group stage on tiebreaker over Virginia Legacy for the No. 2 seed in Flight B, defeating FC Virginia Elite 2-1 in their final match to put them in position to advance. Chantilly has made the State Cup semifinal round for a second straight season, and is also coming off a third place finish in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Red. The team placed third in WAGS U-14 Division 1 last fall.
After coming up just short in the State Cup final last season against FC Virginia, Herndon United 99 will be back in Fredericksburg for Final Four weekend looking to take their success in the tournament one step further. United has continued to make a name for itself at high level national events, reaching division finals at the Disney Soccer Showcase and OBGC Capital Cup, and finishing as semifinalists in a competitive Discovery Cup U-16 Blue Division at the Maryland SoccerPlex over Columbus Day weekend. The team placed sixth in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue in the spring, and is currently undefeated at 4-0-2 in WAGS U-17 Division 1. Herndon has scored 10 goals and allowed none through four State Cup matches this season, taking the top seed in Flight A.
Vienna picked up the No. 2 seed in a stacked Group B with a 1-1-1 record, and earns a second straight trip to Fredericksburg after reaching the semifinals in 2014. Phoenix defeated PWSI 99 Red in a hard fought 1-0 match on October 17 in the final group match, edging out the Courage for the coveted semifinal berth. Since the start of 2015, the team has won division titles at the Bloomsburg University Girls College Showcase, Virginian Elite Showcase, Kimoyo Cup and Jefferson Cup.
Beach FC 99 Red, the top seed from Flight B, has allowed only one goal through four State Cup matches while racking up 16. Last year’s CCL U-15 girls champion side recently captured division titles at the Virginia Beach Sun Cup and the Columbia Invitational Memorial Day Tournament, and reached the U-15 Platinum Black Division final at the 2015 Jefferson Cup. The team’s State Cup run in 2014 went all the way to the semifinals as well. Forward Idelys Vazquez is a member of the Region I ODP roster for the 2000 age group.
McLean 99 Green has shut out four of its five opponents in State Cup action so far, including back-to-back 1-0 wins over FC Richmond Mystx 99 and Loudoun 99 Red to close out group play, as McLean rebounded from a 4-0 loss in their Fight A opener against Herndon. The team is fresh off a Blue Division championship at the Discovery Cup over Columbus Day weekend, and a run to the finals of the Virginian Elite Showcase’s top flight during the spring.
Loudoun 98 Red won the State Cup title in 2014 and goes for another one this weekend after earning the top seed in Flight A. The team has given up only two goals through four games, and closed out group play on October 17 with a 3-0 win at home over Vienna Youth Soccer Thunder Gold. The reigning CCL champions take on another VYS side this weekend on a neutral site in Fredericksburg for a chance to get back into the final. Loudoun parlayed its state title into a run to the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships last season, also finishing fourth in the Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue, third in the US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division and reaching the final in the Black Division at the Disney Soccer Showcase. Future Radford University goalkeeper Courtenay Kaplan and the back line earned four clean sheets last season in National League play.
Vienna Thunder Black has gone through the national showcase gauntlet over the past year, competing prestigious events such as the WAGS Tournament, OBGC Capital Cup, San Diego Surf Cup, EDP Open Cup, Jefferson Cup, Disney Soccer Showcase, Annandale Premier Cup and Bethesda Premier Cup. Coach Nadir Moumen‘s squad not only attended the renowned tournaments but had a good deal of success, winning divisions at OBGC, Annandale and Bethesda while reaching the finals at EDP. The team finished sixth in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue and placed second in the WAGS League High School Premier Division 1 last fall. Thunder Black is 3-0-1 so far in the State Cup, outscoring opponents 11-3.
The 2014-2015 Region I finalist Annandale United 98 earned the top seed in Flight A of the group stage, and returns to the semifinal round of the State Cup where their run came to an end last season. Annandale has outscored opponents 15-5 through four games, and is coming off a 5-2 win over Arlington to close out group play. Coach Ann Germain‘s team won the 2015 President’s Day College Showcase and finished as semifinalists at the Disney Soccer Showcase last season as well, while placing second in the Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue. Goalkeeper Jessica Berlin and defender Chloe Beverina have been named to the 2015-2016 Region I ODP pool for the 1999 age group.
Beach FC 98 Red has won three of four to begin the State Cup, taking the second and final semifinal berth in a closely-contested Flight A. The team edged out Fredericskburg FC 98 Black on tiebreaker, as three of the four squads in the bracket finished with identical 2-1-0 records. Beach placed third in the CCL last season, and has had recent showcase success at the WAGS Tournament (Showcase Division IV champions), Virginia Beach Sup (Red Division finalists) and Columbia Invitational (Premier Division II semifinalists). Forward Starland White has been named to the 2015-2016 Region I ODP pool for the 1999 age group.
Flight A’s top seed VSA Elite 97 has an unblemished 4-0-0 record in State Cup competition, outscoring opponents 12-1 in the process. Last year’s U-17 State Cup finalists recently won the Showcase II Division at the WAGS Tournament and took the Disney Soccer Showcase’s Championship Gray Division title last winter as well. VSA is led by NCAA Division I commits such as Allyson Brown (Virginia Tech 2017) and Olivia Camera (University of San Francisco 2016), both of which are top 25 programs in the latest NSCAA rankings.
BRYC 97/98 finished just behind PWSI 97 Red in Flight B, earning the No. 2 seed by a difference of one goal as the teams had identical 2-0-1 records in group play. Jim Abt‘s BRYC squad reached the U-16 State Cup title match last season, and now finds itself among the last four remaining contenders for the U-18 championship a year later. BRYC placed seventh in both the Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue and US Youth Soccer National League a season ago. Defender Kelsey Kiley was recently named to the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team roster.
PWSI Courage 97 Red is back in the semifinals where their State Cup run came to an end last season, looking to break through with a trip to the final in their U-18 season. The squad captured the top seed in Flight B of the group stage, and has gone 3-0-1 with 12 goals scored and only five allowed through four State Cup matches. During the spring, Courage placed fourth in the Region I Champions League Division 1 Red and Jefferson Cup Elite Black Division. Mike Cullina‘s group went 3-1-3 in the Champions League and 2-0-1 at the Jeff Cup, where they earned victories over ECNL side Albertson Fury 97 and highly-ranked New Jersey side Winslow Soccer Tigers. James Madison commit Hannah McShea was nominated as a Player That Impressed at the WAGS Tournament for her performance in net, leading the PWSI defense in the team’s Showcase I Division championship run.
Flight A’s No. 2 seed Arlington Rowdies Red edged out SOCA on tiebreaker at 1-1-1 during group play, advancing to Fredericksburg for a match-up with PWSI. Arlington placed second in the CCL’s U-17 age group and Region I Champions League Division 2 Red last season, and is coming off a WAGS Tournament Showcase III Division title at the WAGS Tournament over Columbus Day Weekend. Forward Grace Hersey (UNC Wilmington 2016) and midfielder Keri Vornadore (Old Dominion 2016) are among the team’s NCAA Division I commits.