BATON ROUGE, La. (June 24, 2014) — Eight teams have played their way into the final matches of their groups, and the remaining semifinals are at set at the 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships in Baton Rouge, La.
After Tuesday’s games at the BREC Burbank-Soccer Complex, the final pairings are now known for the Under-13 and Under-19 age groups. Another set of teams have inched closer to competing for the US Youth Soccer Region III Championship, as Tuesday’s quarterfinal games saw teams in the Under-17 and Under-18 age groups take the next step in their quest for the Regional title — advancing to their respective semifinals.
The first champions of the week will be decided sooner than expected, as Wednesday’s start times have been moved up due to potential inclement weather, with the first kickoff times set for 7:30 a.m.
Behind a hot start, SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA) earned a 5-1 Under-19 semifinal win over TSC Hurricane (OK). Carsen Taylor and Perri Bonner each scored in the opening five minutes to spot SSA an early 2-0 lead. Bonner added another goal in the 28th minute before TSC’s Gabrielle Watts scored to make 3-1. However, Necee Jennings responded shortly after for SSA to put the Georgia side up, 4-1, at halftime. Bonner added a late goal to cap a hat trick and help her side carry momentum of the big win into Wednesday’s final.
Tophat 14 Gold (GA) defeated Pool D winner Tampa Bay United (FL), 3-1, on Tuesday to advance to the Under-18 semifinals. The Georgia side took an early lead when Serenity Waters hit her shot low and hard into the corner of the net, but Alexis Mouton equalized for Tampa Bay in the 32nd minute to send the game to halftime even at 1. The Georgia side’s Grant Wilmer hustled to pressure the keeper after a back pass, which resulted in a turnover and go-ahead goal for Tophat in the 61st minute. The Hatters sealed the 3-1 win late in the match when Stephanie Krouskos cut inside a defender and blasted a shot across the goal and into the upper-90.
Local side BRSC/CSC 96 Alliance (LA) saw its title run come to an end after a 2-0 loss to NASA 14 Elite (GA) in the Under-18 quarterfinals. An early NASA free kick to the back post found Tayler Hartrampf, who headed it home to give her side a 1-0 lead. Alliance pushed back and created several chances, but NASA withstood the pressure to take the lead to halftime. The Alliance keeper made some key saves to keep her side within a goal, but NASA added a second tally when Casey Wertz’s shot flew inside the left post. The win puts the Georgia side in the last four for the second straight year, where it will aim to improve on last year’s narrow 1-0 semifinal defeat to Tampa Bay United.
It took overtime to decide whether SCU/MP 96 Elite (SC) or 97 Norcross Fury Premier (GA) would advance to the Under-17 semifinals. Landen Bowman scored a fifth-minute goal for Norcross, but South Carolina’s Miranda Weslake responded just a minute later to tie the score at 1. Norcross regained the lead in the 50th minute on a Grace Packer tally, which was nearly enough offense for the Georgia side. However, Caroline Smith scored an 87th-minute equalizer to pull SCU/MP even and send the game to overtime. Tiffany Raygor provided the deciding goal for Norcross when she found the back of the net in the 100th minute to give the Fury the 3-2 win.
Oklahoma FC has a team in the Under-13 Girls final for the second straight year after OFC 01 Phillips (OK) defeated CASL Elite Jrs. (NC), 2-1. Megan Nielsen put OFC up early when she found the back of the net in the ninth minute. That goal stood until Haleigh Stackpole equalized for CASL in the 37th minute. With overtime looming, Nielsen got behind the CASL back line and held off a defender before beating the keeper with only minutes left in the match — helping OFC to the 2-1 win and spot in the final.