SAGINAW, Mich. (June 27, 2012) – Champions were crowned and dreams realized at the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region II (Midwest) Championships, presented by National Guard, at Saginaw Township Soccer Complex in Saginaw, Michigan.
"The finals play, by the best teams in the Midwest, brought to close another successful Region II championships," said Bob Hart, US Youth Soccer Region II Championships Chairman. "The local organizing committee, Michigan State Youth Soccer Association, Saginaw Township and all involved are to be commended for a job well done."
As the final whistles blew, Michigan led the way with four 2012 regional titles. Illinois, Ohio-North and Ohio-South followed close behind with three apiece. Missouri also won a title on the day.
2012 US Youth Soccer Region II Champions
|Under-13 Girls||(MI)||Michigan Hawks|
|Under-14 Girls||(OH-N)||Ambassadors FC|
|Under-15 Girls||(OH-N)||Internationals 96 Red|
|Under-16 Girls||(OH-N)||Cleveland United White|
|Under-17 Girls||(IL)||Team Chicago Academy Botafogo|
|Under-18 Girls||(OH-S)||Cincinnati Soccer Alliance Elite|
|Under-19 Girls||(MO)||St. Louis Scott Gallagher Green|
|Under-13 Boys||(IL)||Chicago Magic|
|Under-14 Boys||(MI)||Vardar 98|
|Under-15 Boys||(OH-S)||CUP Crew Jrs Gold|
|Under-16 Boys||(MI)||Michigan Jaguars|
|Under-17 Boys||(IL)||Raiders FC Premier|
|Under-18 Boys||(MI)||Grand Rapids Crew Jrs|
|Under-19 Boys||(OH-S)||Crew Juniors|
*U-14 through U-19 champions advance to US Youth Soccer National Championships in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Under-14 Girls final matched up KCU Rangers 97/98 (KS) and Ambassadors FC (OH-N). Sarah Krause put Ambassadors up in the 54th minute with her tournament-leading 7th goal on the week. In the final moments of the game, Ambassadors conceded a penalty in the box and Hannah Miller stepped up with confidence to bury the kick for KCU and send the game into overtime. Neither team could convert in extra time and the U-14 Girls champion was decided by penalty kicks. Ambassadors showed its championship mettle, rose to the occasion and claimed the title.
In U-15 Girls play, Internationals 96 Red (OH-N) started its game against Lake Country United Red 96/97 (WI) better than hoped, with a Hannah Ludwig goal in the 2nd minute. Jenna Dorchock would add a second goal for Internationals before half and complete her double in the 43rd minute. Merin Mundt pulled one back for Lake Country United in the 62nd minute, but it wasn’t enough as Internationals won 3-1.
Internationals (OH-N) had also advanced to the U-16 Girls final, where they faced fellow Ohio north team, Cleveland United White. After a scoreless first half, Alex Manoa found the net in the 65thminute. The decisive goal was Manoa’s second on the tournament. A staunch defensive effort kept the clean sheet for Cleveland United and secured the Region II Championships.
U-17 Girls champs Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL) showed balance and determination in the final game, as they beat North Shore United (WI) 3-0. Three different players found the net for Team Chicago, with Ashley Handwork starting the scoring in just the 6th minute. Bryce Banuelos and Dana Miller added insurance goals in the second half. This team was led in scoring all week by Zoe Swift, who won the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championship and Golden Ball as a member of NSA Premier Fury.
Cincinnati Soccer Alliance Elite (OH-S) capped off its impressive run in the regional championships with a 3-0 victory over Kolping Kicks SC (MO) in the U-18 Girls final. CSA’s leading scorer on the week Morgan Wolcott struck first with a goal in the 28th minute. Kiersten Johnson and McKenzie Hamilton added second half goals to book their team a trip to the national championships.
In the U-19 Girls final, St. Louis Scott Gallagher MO defeated KCFC Intensity 92/93 (KS) 3-1 to claim the regional title. Kathryn Brenner put St. Louis on the board in just the 4th minute, and Abbey Stock would double the lead in the 21st. Caroline Gray would pull one back for KCFC ten minutes into the second half and KCFC continued to press for an equalizer. Rachel Tejada extended Scott Gallagher’s lead in the 66th for the 3-1 win.
In the U-14 Boys final, late drama lifted Vardar 98 (MI) over Sporting Kansas City Juniors (MO), 4-1. With the scored tied at one after regulation, Vardar exploded for three goals in overtime highlighted by a Nick Metcalfe double.
U-15 CUP Crew Jrs Gold (OH-S) did not concede a single goal in the regional championships and netted two on finals day to claim a victory over fellow National League team Chicago Magic (IL). Led by Luke Treadway who scored his fifth goal in as many games this week, CUP Crew also notched goals by David Jeffries and Charlie Byers for the 3-0 win.
As both regional finalist teams in this age group had already qualified for the national championships via the National League, semifinalists Challenger Crew Jrs (OH-N) and Grand Rapids Crew Jrs (MI) met to determine a regional representative in South Carolina. Challenger Crew got the victory and the berth in the national championships.
Motivated to return to the national championships after coming so close to a title in 2011, Michigan Jaguars 96 Green (MI) took the next step along their journey with a 2-0 win over Ambassadors (OH-N) in the U-16 Boys final. Michael Winters started the scoring for the Jags in just the 5th minute, and Nathan McLean nodded home a long throw just seconds before the halftime whistle to give his team a 2-0 lead at intermission. That lead would hold through the next 40 and the Jaguars recorded their fifth shutout of the week in five games to return to the national championships.
Raiders FC Premier will return to the National Championships in 2012 as they beat Waukesha Pumas (WI) 2-0 in the U-17 Boys regional final. Roberto Torres nodded home as impressive goal as he rose above the defense in the 31st minute to get on the end of a Brandon Medina cross. Connor Nitchoff would add the insurance goal for Raiders in the first minute of the second half.
Another year, another regional title for U-18 Boys Grand Rapids Crew Jrs (MI), as they beat Galaxy 93/94 Blue (IL) 4-2 in an exciting match. After taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, Matthew Harkema scored back-to-back goals in the 67th and 70th minutes to extend the Grand Rapids lead. Galaxy made things interesting as they scored two quick goals of their own in the 80 and 81st minutes. With Galaxy committing numbers forward for a late equalizer, Grand Rapids executed a beautiful counter attack and Sean Conerty scored in the 90th minute to put Grand Rapids out of reach.
U-19 Boys champions Crew Juniors (OH-S) scored 29 goals en route to the regional title, and netted three on finals day as they beat Pacesetter Premier (OH-N) 3-1. Pacesetter fell just short of a national championship berth with a loss in the regional final for the second straight year. Kofi Agyapong opened the scoring for Crew in the 14th minute and Matthew Walker and Jordan Tyler added second half goals to seal the victory.
|Under-13 Girls||Michigan Hawks (MI)||6||FC Milwaukee Blue (WI)||0|
|Goal Scorers: Hawks - Madeleine Lucas (13:00, 49:00), Megan Young (52:00, 56:00), Isabel Rodriguez (67:00), Catherine Dager (70:00)|
|Under-14 Girls||KCU Rangers 97/98 (KS)||1||Ambassadors FC (OH-N)||1|
|Goal Scorers: KCU - Hannah Miller (70:00)|
|Ambassadors - Sarah Krause (54:00) *Advanced on PKs|
|Under-15 Girls||Internationals 96 Red (OH-N)||3||Lake Country United Red 96/97 (WI)||1|
|Goal Scorers: Int - Hannah Ludwig (2:00), Jenna Dorchock (32:00, 43:00)|
|United - Merin Mundt (62:00)|
|Under-16 Girls||Cleveland United White (OH-N)||1||Internationals 95 Red (OH-N)||0|
|Goal Scorer: Cleveland - Alexis Manoa (65:00)|
|Under-17 Girls||Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL)||3||North Shore United (WI)||0|
|Goal Scorers: Botafogo - Ashley Handwork (6:00), Bryce Banuelos (58:00), Dana Miller (90:00)|
|Under-18 Girls||Kolping Kicks SC Schmitt (MO)||0||Cincinnati Soccer Alliance Elite (OH-S)||3|
|Goal Scorers: CSA - Morgan Wolcott (28:00), Kiersten Johnson (57:00), Mckenzie Hamilton (82:00)|
|Under-19 Girls||St. Louis Scott Gallagher Green (MO)||3||KCFC Intensity 92/93 (KS)||1|
|Goal Scorers: SLSG - Kathryn Brenner (4:00), Abbey Stock (21:00), RACHEL TEJADA (66:00)|
|KCFC - Caroline Gray (55:00)|
|Under-13 Boys||Chicago Magic Preacademy (IL)||3||Sporting KC Juniors (KS)||1|
|Goal Scorers: Magic - Alan Salmeron (10:00), Aldreiron Smith (32:00), Michael Gutierrez (70:00)|
|Sporting - Edson Murguia (35:00)|
|Under-14 Boys||Sporting Kansas City Juniors (MO)||1||Vardar 98 (MI)||4|
|Goal Scorers: Sporting - Paul Whitener (39:00)|
|Vardar - Matthew Cook (30:00), Nick Metcalfe (73:00, 84:00), Thomas Dokho (77:00)|
|Under-15 Boys||CUP Crew Jrs Gold 96/97 (OH-S)||3||Chicago Magic (IL)||0|
|Goal Scorers: CUP - David Jeffries (20:00), Luke Treadway (43:00), Charlie Byers (53:00)|
|Under-16 Boys||Ambassadors (OH-N)||0||Michigan Jaguars 96 Green (MI)||2|
|Goal Scorers: Jags - Michael Winters (5:00), Nathan McLean (40:00)|
|Under-17 Boys||Raiders FC Premier (IL)||2||SC Waukesha Pumas (WI)||0|
|Goal Scorers: Raiders - Roberto Torres (31:00), Conor Nitchoff (46:00)|
|Under-18 Boys||Galaxy 93/94 Blue (IL)||2||Grand Rapids Crew Jrs (MI)||4|
|Goal Scorers: Galaxy - Ryan Solomon (80:00), Tyler Yanisch (81:00)|
|Crew - Jacob Vanderlaan (40:00), Matthew Harkema (67:00, 70:00), Sean Conerty (90:00)|
|Under-19 Boys||Pacesetter Premier (OH-N)||1||Crew Juniors (OH-S)||3|
|Goal Scorers: Pacesetter - Ryan Peterson (80:00)|
|Crew - Kofi Agyapong (14:00), Matthew Walker (51:00), Jordan Tyler (78:00)|
Regional winners of the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships July 25-29, at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-14 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-17 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 60 teams.