Finals Week: Teams jockey for top spots

Finals Week: Teams jockey for top spots
by J.R. Eskilson
July 17, 2013

Ricardo Lopez-Espin is enjoying the heat in Houston, Texas just fine.

The Creighton commit pushed his tally to four goals in two games with a second half brace against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri on Tuesday in a 3-0 win for Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy.

Michael Bajza, a NC State commit, scored the other goal for the Minnesota club, which concludes pool play on Thursday with a game against De Anza Force.

The Northern California squad is also 2-0-0 in Houston after a 2-1 win over New England Revolution on Tuesday. De Anza fell behind 0-1 in the first half and relied on two goals in the last 11 minutes to secure the three points. Nicholas Lima, a California commit, scored his second goal of Finals Week for the game-winning tally. Peguy Ngatcha scored the lone goal for New England Revolution.

In the other U18 group, Albertson SC used a hat trick from Jeongho Ahn to capture a 5-0 win over Seattle Sounders and take over the top spot in the group. J.R. Rosero and Andrew Tinari scored the other goals in the shutout victory. Sounders played a large stretch of the match down two players after a pair of red cards.

Connecticut recruit Ethan Decker scored a goal with nine minutes left and New York Red Bulls claimed a valuable three points over Vancouver Whitecaps to keep pace with Albertson SC for the top spot in the group. Red Bulls and Albertson played to a 3-3 draw in the first game.

In the U16 bracket, Houston Dynamo took over the top spot in its group with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake Arizona. U.S. U15 Boys National Team midfielder Christian Lucatero scored the lone goal on a free kick. Houston finishes group play against Albertson SC on Thursday, which won its clash against Houston SC Texans 3-2.

De Anza Force U16 moved into the top spot in the other group with a 3-2 win over Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Tuesday. Matthew Powell scored the game-winner late in the contest for De Anza, which negated goals from Ahinga Selemani and Hunter Barone. Cal Poly commit Ramiro Molina and Santa Clara commit Carlos Delgadillo scored De Anza’s other goals on the day.

Solar Chelsea SC remained even on points with De Anza Force following a 0-0 draw against the Colorado Rapids. Solar and De Anza meet on Thursday in the final game of group at Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Reminder: All games can be streamed live for free from the Hi-Pod website.

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