Smoky Mtn. Cup Day 2 recap, top performers

Smoky Mtn. Cup Day 2 recap, top performers
by Sheldon Shealer
April 1, 2016

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – If Dalton (Ga.) can take care of business Saturday morning, the afternoon clash with McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at the Smoky Mountain Cup will hold significant national ranking implications.

SIMA FAB 50 No. 24 McCallie pulled away from J.L. Mann (Greenville, S.C.) 4-1 on Friday night while at the same time – a few fields away – No. 4 Dalton eased past No. 15 Norman North (Okla.) 3-0.

McCallie (6-0-1) is 2-0 in the four-team round-robin premier event. Dalton (10-0-1 and undefeated in 76 straight matches) is 1-0 with a Saturday morning contest against J.L. Mann (8-4) before meeting McCallie in the afternoon. Norman North (4-3) will face J.L. Mann in an afternoon match, as well.

Event organizers may attempt to live stream the McCallie-Dalton match.

In other Friday contests with regional and national implications, SIMA FAB 50 No. 6 Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.) edged Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) in penalty kicks following a 2-2 match; Westminster Schools (Atlanta, Ga.) handled Broken Arrow (Okla.) 4-1 and McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.) routed St. George’s (Germantown, Tenn.), 7-0. McGill-Toolen (11-3-3) faces Omaha South (7-0) in the bracket semifinals Saturday morning.

The overview of the top four brackets, involving 20 of the 64 participating teams, is showing off the quality of Georgia soccer. Three Georgia teams are a combined 5-0 through Friday. Nebraska’s lone rep is 1-0. The three Alabama teams are 3-1, followed by the eight Tennessee teams at 4-6, three Oklahoma teams at 1-5 and two South Carolina programs at 0-2.

Dalton and McCallie took the drama out of their matches rather early.

Dalton’s Jose Boyzo (assisted by Justen Macias) and Cristian Valladares (assisted by Omar Hernandez) gave Dalton a 2-0 lead midway through the first half. Jimmy Cano capped the scoring early in the second half.

After falling behind 1-0 on a goal by J.L. Mann’s Quinn McNeill, McCallie answered with four goals – three by Drew Viscomi and one from Andre Roberts.

Farragut and Omaha South played a rather even match. Farragut’s goals came from Alex Schupp and junior Austin Bihlmeyer (Schupp assist). Omaha South responded with goals from Jimmi Becceril and Jose Hernandez-Loarca. Hernandez-Loarca is a JV call-up. In the shootout, Omaha South players converted all five attempts. Farragut’s first attempt clanged off the crossbar and the Admirals never recovered.

FRIDAY’S TOP PERFORMERS

(Note, top performers were taken only from matches watched by TopDrawerSoccer staffers. Other players will be acknowledged in the post-event all-star teams.)

Austin Bihlmeyer, Farragut, Jr., D: The junior defender plays outside back, but finds a way to get involved in the offense. He scored one of Farragut’s goals in a 2-2 match that went to penalty kicks.

Alvaro Elizarraga, Omaha South, Sr., M: In a team that really like to push forward, Elizarraga was the most dangerous. He pretty much controlled play in the midfield in what ended up being a shootout win over Farragut. For good measure, he converted his penalty kick, which was clutch at the time to give the team a 4-2 lead.

Isai Hernandez, Dalton, Sr., M: The Tusculum commit was a physical presence in the midfield – at times, too physical. But he was clearly one of the best players on the field and he created a lot of problems for Norman North, both when he was attacking and defending.

Churrui Huitanda, Dalton, Jr., F: Huitanda seemed to be in the middle of a lot of Dalton offensive attacks. He works well in tight spaces and is able to get off a powerful shot without much room.

Justin Macias, Dalton, Sr., F/M: Macias was a dangerous player on the left wing, and delivered a perfect pass that resulted in the team’s first goal in the win over Norman North. Macias has signed with Georgia Southern.

Will McGregor, McCallie School, Jr., M: When McGregor’s defensive assignment shifted to shut down J.L. Mann’s Quinn McNeill, the junior delivered a stellar performance that limited J.L. Mann’s top offensive threat.

Quinn McNeill, J.L. Mann, Jr., M: McNeill scored the first goal to put J.L. Mann ahead of McCallie, but it was the last goal for the team in a 4-1 loss. Still, McNeill showed he can control the offense and is hard to mark. Stanford, Clemson, Wake Forest and Notre Dame have all expressed interest in the junior.

Drew Viscomi, McCallie School, Jr., F: Viscomi finds himself on the list for the second straight day, this time for a three-goal, one-assist performance in a 4-1 win over J.L. Mann.

Related Topics: SIMA FAB 50 / Event
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