June 28, 2016
US YOUTH SOCCER REGION II CHAMPIONSHIPS
Eight Illinois teams in finals
WESTFIELD, Ind. – After four days of competition, eight teams from Illinois have advanced to the finals of the 2016 US Youth Soccer Region II (Midwest) Championships.
Winners in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls matches will win a Regional title, and earn a berth to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships held July 26-31 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
Of the teams competing in the finals, there are eight teams from Illinois, seven from Ohio South, four from Michigan, three from Ohio North, two each from Missouri and Nebraska as well as one each from Kansas and Wisconsin.
Four 2015 Region II champions are still in the running including Under-14 Girls PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI), Under-14 Boys Sporting J. B. Marine (MO), Under-16 Girls FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) and Under-19 Boys Kansas Rush Academy Blue 96/97 (KS).
Highlights from the semifinal matches:
Cincinnati United Premier Gold (OH-S) tallied four goals for a shutout against KHA 02 Red (KY). Brooklyn Harris earned the first goal in the ninth minute of the match and Kailyn Dudukovich added a second just before the end of the half. Makala Woods earned Cincinnati United Premier Gold another goal in the second half, and two minutes later, Dudukovich topped off the game with her second goal of the day for the 4-0 win.
Sporting J. B. Marine (MO) and Minnesota Thunder Elite Academy (MN) fought in a close match, resulting in a 1-0 win for Sporting J. B. Halfway through the first period, Sporting J. B.’s Arthur DeCampos put the team on the board. After the goal, it was a battle between Sporting J. B.’s defense and Minnesota Thunder’s offense as Minnesota Thunder searched for the equalizer. In the first half, a Minnesota Thunder player had a close chance when he took a shot at the top of the 18-yard box, and the ball collided with the left goal post. During the second half, Minnesota Thunder continued to push forward, creating dangerous chances and earning numerous corner kicks to get closer to goal. However, Sporting J. B. Marine’s defense prevailed and held the lead for a 1-0 victory.
Toledo Celtics Black (OH-N) recorded a 3-2 win over LFSC Geerling (MO). Toledo Celtics’ Josh Kidder sent two balls into the back of the net within the first 16 minutes of the match. Aaron Swerlein then added a third goal in the second half. LFSC began to get the ball rolling halfway through the second period as Tristan Stotler and Joseph Ackfeld scored two goals for the team. However, Toledo Celtics maintained the lead for a spot in the finals.
Milwaukie Bavarians (WI) finished one goal against Sporting STL – McMahon Ford (MO), and that was all the team needed to advance to the finals. With an early goal from Anthony Giunta in the 15th minute of the match, Milwaukie Bavarians held on until the final minute for the 1-0 victory.
The game was a back-and-forth scoring contest between Omaha FC 98/99 Elite 1 (NE) and Chicago Fire Juniors (IL). In the 22nd minute, Tanner Miller from Omaha FC was the first to score. The second goal of the match didn’t come until the second half when Chicago Fire’s Matthew Bahena evened the match. Robert Reichert’s goal earned the lead for the Chicago Fire just two minutes later, but Omaha FC’s Erik Fahner retaliated with a goal to tie up the game once again. Chicago Fire put the game away when Reichert scored again and Peter Becht finished the team’s fourth goal of the game one minute later. Chicago Fire’s 4-2 win earned the team a spot in the final matches.
CRSA 97/98 (IA) and Ambassadors FC (OH-N) both had their hands full throughout the entire game as the match went into double overtime. Ambassadors FC brought on the pressure, but in the second half, Sydney Hayden and Courtney Powell gave CRSA a 2-0 lead. Hayden snuck in behind the Ambassadors FC’s defense to score her goal. Powell ran onto a ball that was played over the defense and took on the goalkeeper in a one-on-one battle, placing her shot in the bottom right corner. Ambassadors FC did not stop fighting as Alexandra Wright earned not just one goal, but two goals to tie the game. Her second goal was taken at the corner of the 18-yard box and flew over the head of CRSA’s goalkeeper. Going into overtime, Wright posted her third goal of the day as she found an opening between the CRSA defenders and aimed the ball at the right side of the goal. Ambassadors FC’s Gabrielle LoPresti and Alexandra Ehrnfelt then piled on two goals in the overtime periods for breathing room and a 5-2 lead. CRSA received a penalty kick, which Morgan Petsche finished, but Ambassadors FC was the team to advance after the 5-3 victory.
In the semifinal match between Red Stars (IL) and Iowa Rush (IA), the Red Stars came out on top with a 2-1 win. In the third minute of the match, Karly Stuenkel from Red Stars was able to poke the ball into the net after a scramble in the 18-yard box. Iowa Rush’s Hartley Christensen converted the equalizer as she sent the ball in from the side of the field and hit the side net later in the first half. After some back-and-forth play, Stuenkel earned her second goal of the match and the game winner as she scored in the second half.
Division Home Team State Away Team State
U13 Girls Chicago Fire Juniors South Premier IL Cincinnati United Premier Gold OH-S
U13 Boys Michigan Wolves 03 MI CUP Gold OH-S
U14 Girls PSG MI Gators 02 Orange MI Waza FC East 02 Black MI
U14 Boys Sporting J. B. Marine MO Raiders City IL
U15 Girls Midwest United FC 01 Royal MI Campton United Navy IL
U15 Boys CFA Raiders IL Toledo Celtics Black OH-N
U16 Girls FCKC Pink Panthers Elite MO CUP Gold 99/00 OH-S
U16 Boys OP Green OH-S Milwaukee Bavarians WI
U17 Girls LSC EGA Maroon 98/99 NE FC United IL
U17 Boys Challenger Crew Jrs Gold 98 OH-N Chicago Fire Juniors IL
U18 Girls Ambassadors FC OH-N OFC 97/98 Elite NE
U18 Boys OP Green OH-S OGFC 97 Elite OH-S
U19 Girls Red Stars IL CUP Gold OH-S
U19 Boys Kansas Rush Academy Blue 96/97 KS Chicago Celtic IL