Published: March 13, 2011
After heavy rains earlier in the week, the Jefferson Cup kicked off with only a few hitches Saturday.
Focusing on the U14 Championship bracket (top flight), South Carolina United hoped to build on a 6-0 win over Team Ohio FC in the morning in their match vs. host club Richmond Strikers at Bryan Park. Strikers had won their first game as well, 2-0 over Real New Jersey behind a pari of goals from Gil Topaz.
The game started with SC United showing strong as outside back, Cameron Bohannon received a beautiful cross from Caleb Moore
and placed a nice shot in the upper 90. SC United continued to keep the Striker goalkeeper busy as Reginald Epps took several quality shots. Epps showed well over the entire game with great skill, poise and touch. His efforts paid off midway through the first half when team captain Dakota Hawkins played a nice through ball to him andhe finished, raising the SC United lead to 2-0. Hawkins and Epps almost scored again when Hawkins crossed a long ball to Epps, who took it down uncontested but Striker GK Jake Gelnovatch made a great save.
The Strikers showed great skill and resilience in fighting back and Gil Topaz placed a strong free kick into the box that was almost converted to a goal. A corner by Topaz was headed just wide right. Just before the half ended SC United player Barrett Stevens, who worked hard and was tremendous throughout the game, won a ball and played it up to Gian Ortega who finished it brilliantly to put his team up 3-0.
Strikers came out stronger in the second half. Topaz played a long ball to Tarik Klancevic but the SC United GK Reid Hunter
made an excellent save. Hunter along with his outside backs, Cameron Parker and Cameron Bohannon, were strong all game. Parker and Bohannon were very good, as was Dontrell Taylor. Taylor took the ball through the defense and scored the fourth and final goal of the game, bringing SC United’s daily tally to 10 goals for and none scored on their defense or Hunter.
SC United never lost their shape on the field and had a strong attacking team, with standout play from Caleb Moore
, Rex Epps
, Dontrell Taylor, and Dakota Hawkins. Barrett Stevens was extremely skilled and played with great touch and vision. The Richmond Strikers had skill and speed in the midfield in Gil Topaz, and strong play in the back by James Kendall and Sam Dracos.
The second game in the afternoon brought together the FC Greater Boston Bolts and the PWSI Courage Red from Northern Virginia. Bolts suffered a tough loss at the hands of St. Louis Scott Gallagher earlier in the day, 6-0 while PWSI had come away with a 0-0 tie against FC Copa Juniors. This game was played at a slower pace than the one just before it, but PWSI scored early when Wyatt Aldrich played a nice ball to Jordan Edwards whose clean finish put his team up 1-0.
PWSI’s Daylan Burgess was impressive on defense keeping the ball away from his goal and placing balls in key positions on the field. He crossed the ball to the opposite side of the field to Noah Morgan who took the ball along the end line then passed it to Tyler Runge who demonstrated a textbook finish on his one touch goal to make it 2-0.
Bolts played well, with Yoav Barkai showing great skill and moves on the field. However, PWSI’s Josh Cox won a ball in the back and dribbled through the midfield to start the sequence ending in the third PWSI goal. Cox played a nice 1-2 with Tyler Runge and then beat 2 markers before scoring to make it 3-0 at the half.
The second half saw tremendous play from Ryan McMurrer who started the game at center back and moved to midfield. He was strong and very composed, and doesn’t seem to ever lose the ball. Wyatt Aldrich continued to impress as did Josh Cox who was strong on and off the ball. McMurrer dropped back to center back to try and preserve the shut out (points are very important in the Jefferson Cup because they count for tiebreakers to determine who advances) but after a handball call set up a free kick, Bolts’ Watson Cheek took that away when his kick went beautifully into the upper 90. The score remained 3-1 to the finish.
Final group matches and championship games will be played Sunday.